The occurrence and environmental effect of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Taurus Mountains soils
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Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are of global concern due to their ubiquitous presence and toxicity. The occurence of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), -dibenzofurans (PCDFs), co-planar biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDT), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in forest soil collected from Taurus mountains may have adverse effects on the environment and health. The aim of the study was to investigate the outcome and distribution of POPs in the environment and the possible grasshopper effect along an altitude transect from sea level up to nearly 2,000 m a.s.l at a spatial distance of about 60 km in the southeastern Turkish Mediterranean Sea.
The samples were collected at a height of 121, 408, 981, 1,225, 1,373, 1,639, and 1,881 m above sea level from Taurus Mountains, Turkey. The results were confirmed using high-resolution gas chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry.
The levels of the PCDD in forest soil from Taurus Mountains varied from nearly 4 to 12 pg g−1 dry weight (dw). PCDF concentrations ranged from 2 to 7 pg g−1 dw. Considerably high DDT levels detected in five stations indicated (3,223–24,564 pg g−1) its extensive local application or atmospheric transport. PCB levels were determined between 80 and 288 pg g−1 dw. HCH concentrations ranged from 141 to 1,513 pg g−1 dw. The other OCP was between 102 and 731 pg g−1.
Although the use of POPs has been banned, our results show that they could still be found in Turkey. Their presence may be attributed to the degradation of pesticides which are newly banned and, as well as to the atmospheric migration and deposition. The lattitude of sampling sites, the chemical, and physical parameters of soil have observed no effect on the fate of POPs in the environment.
KeywordsPersistence organic pollutants Forest soil Taurus Mountains Turkey
This research has been supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany through a joint research project (project nos.109 T002 in Turkey and TUR 08/002 in Germany), and we would like to thank both Serhan MERMER and Melis USLUY for their assistance in carrying out the extensive investigations
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