Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 24, pp 20154–20166 | Cite as

Spatial distribution, source apportionment and ecological risk assessment of residual organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the Himalayas

  • Ningombam Linthoingambi Devi
  • Ishwar Chandra Yadav
  • Priyankar Raha
  • Qi Shihua
  • Yang Dan
Research Article


The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is one of the important mountain ecosystems among the global mountain system which support wide variety of flora, fauna, human communities and cultural diversities. Surface soil samples collected from IHR were analysed for 23 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). The concentration of ∑OCPs ranged from 0.28 to 2143.96 ng/g (mean 221.54 ng/g) and was mostly dominated by DDTs. The concentration of ∑DDTs ranged from 0.28 to 2126.94 ng/g (mean 216.65 ng/g). Other OCPs such as HCHs, endosulfan and heptachlor, Aldrin and dieldrin were detected in lower concentration in IHR. Their concentrations in soil samples ranged from ND to 2.79 ng/g for HCHs, ND to 2.83 ng/g for endosulfans, NDto 1.46 ng/g for heptachlor, ND to 2.12 ng/g for Aldrin and ND to 1.81 ng/g for dieldrin. Spatial distribution of OCPs suggested prevalence of DDTs and HCHs at Guwahati and Itanagar, respectively. The close relationship between total organic carbon (TOC) and part of OCP compounds (especially α- and γ-HCH) indicated the important role of TOC in accumulation, binding and persistence of OCP in soil. Diagnostic ratio of DDT metabolites and HCH isomers showed DDT contamination is due to recent application of technical DDT and dicofol, and HCH contamination was due to mixture of technical HCH and lindane source. This was further confirmed by principal component analysis. Ecological risk analysis of OCP residues in soil samples concluded the moderate to severe contamination of soil.


Organochlorine pesticides Itanagar Guwahati Tezpur Dibrugarh 



NLD is thankful to University Grant Commission (UGC), New Delhi for financial assistance in the form of Dr. D.S. Kothari Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Supplementary material

11356_2015_5237_MOESM1_ESM.docx (58 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 57 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ningombam Linthoingambi Devi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ishwar Chandra Yadav
    • 3
  • Priyankar Raha
    • 2
  • Qi Shihua
    • 4
  • Yang Dan
    • 4
  1. 1.Central University of South BiharPatnaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Institute of Agricultural SciencesBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.State key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, School of Environmental StudiesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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