Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 5023–5035 | Cite as

Spatial distribution and partitioning of polychlorinated biphenyl and organochlorine pesticide in water and sediment from Sarno River and Estuary, Southern Italy

  • Paolo MontuoriEmail author
  • Teresa Cirillo
  • Evelina Fasano
  • Antonio Nardone
  • Francesco Esposito
  • Maria Triassi
Research Article


The Sarno River is nicknamed “the most polluted river in Europe”. The main goal of this study is to enhance our knowledge on the Sarno River water and sediment quality and on its environmental impact on the gulf of Naples (Tyrrhenian Sea, Central Mediterranean Sea) in order to become a useful assessment tool for the regional administrations. For these reasons, 32 selected polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and aldrin, α-BHC, β-BHC, δ-BHC, γ-BHC (lindane), 4,4′-DDD, 4,4′-DDE, 4,4′-DDT, dieldrin, endosulfan I, endosulfan II, endosulfan sulphate, endrin, endrin aldehyde, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide (isomer B) and methoxychlor were determined in the water dissolved phase (DP), suspended particulate matter (SPM) and sediments. Total concentrations of PCBs ranged from 1.4 to 24.9 ng L−1 in water (sum of DP and SPM) and from 1.01 to 42.54 ng g−1 in sediment samples. The concentrations of total organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) obtained in water (sum of DP and SPM) ranged from 0.54 to 7.32 ng L−1 and from 0.08 to 5.99 ng g−1 in sediment samples. Contaminant discharges of PCBs and OCPs into the sea were calculated in about 1,247 g day−1 (948 g day−1 of PCBs and 326 g day−1 of OCPs), showing that this river should account as one of the main contribution sources of PCBs and OCPs to the Tyrrhenian Sea.


Sarno River Polychlorinated biphenyls Organochlorine pesticides River outflow Contaminant transport processes Temporal trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Montuori
    • 1
    Email author
  • Teresa Cirillo
    • 2
  • Evelina Fasano
    • 2
  • Antonio Nardone
    • 1
  • Francesco Esposito
    • 2
  • Maria Triassi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health“Federico II” UniversityNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture“Federico II” UniversityNaplesItaly

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