Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 24, pp 23559–23573 | Cite as

Contamination of soils by metals and organic micropollutants: case study of the Parisian conurbation

  • Johnny GaspériEmail author
  • Sophie Ayrault
  • Elodie Moreau-Guigon
  • Fabrice Alliot
  • Pierre Labadie
  • Hélène Budzinski
  • Martine Blanchard
  • Bogdan Muresan
  • Emilie Caupos
  • Mathieu Cladière
  • David Gateuille
  • Bruno Tassin
  • Louise Bordier
  • Marie-Jeanne Teil
  • Catherine Bourges
  • Annie Desportes
  • Marc Chevreuil
  • Régis Moilleron
Spatial and temporal patterns of anthropogenic influence in a large river basin. A multidisciplinary approach


Soils are playing a central role in the transfer and accumulation of anthropogenic pollutants in urbanized regions. Hence, this study aimed at examining the contamination levels of selected soils collected within and around the Paris conurbation (France). This also evaluated factors controlling contamination. Twenty-three trace and major elements as well as 82 organic micropollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), phthalates (PAEs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), alkylphenols (APs), and perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) were analyzed. Results reinforced the concern raised by the occurrence and levels of metals such as Zn, Pb, Cu, and Hg, identified as metallic markers of anthropogenic activities, but also pointed out the ubiquitous contamination of soils by organic micropollutants in the 0.2–55,000-μg/kg dw range. For well-documented compounds like PAHs, PCBs, and to a lesser extent PBDEs, contents were in the range of background levels worldwide. The pollutant stock in tested soil was compared to the annual atmospheric input. For PAHs; Pb; and to a lesser extent Zn, Cu, Cd, Hg, Sb, PAEs, and APs, a significant stock was observed, far more important than the recent annual atmospheric fluxes. This resulted from both (i) the persistence of a fraction of pollutants in surface soils and (ii) the cumulative atmospheric inputs over several decades. Regarding PBDEs and PFASs, stronger atmospheric input contributions were observed, thereby highlighting their recent dispersal into the environment.


Metals Organic micropollutants Soils Black carbon PAHs PCBs Perfluoroalkylated substances 



This study was carried out within the framework of the PIREN-Seine research program. Authors gratefully acknowledge Tony Nemouthe and Quentin Claveau for the PFAS and metal analyses, respectively.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_8005_MOESM1_ESM.docx (82 kb)
Supplementary Figure S1 (DOCX 81 kb)
11356_2016_8005_MOESM2_ESM.docx (118 kb)
Supplementary Figure S2 (DOCX 117 kb)
11356_2016_8005_MOESM3_ESM.docx (47 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 (DOCX 47 kb)
11356_2016_8005_MOESM4_ESM.docx (46 kb)
Supplementary Table S2 (DOCX 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johnny Gaspéri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sophie Ayrault
    • 2
  • Elodie Moreau-Guigon
    • 3
  • Fabrice Alliot
    • 3
  • Pierre Labadie
    • 4
  • Hélène Budzinski
    • 4
  • Martine Blanchard
    • 3
  • Bogdan Muresan
    • 1
  • Emilie Caupos
    • 1
  • Mathieu Cladière
    • 1
  • David Gateuille
    • 1
  • Bruno Tassin
    • 1
  • Louise Bordier
    • 2
  • Marie-Jeanne Teil
    • 3
  • Catherine Bourges
    • 3
  • Annie Desportes
    • 3
  • Marc Chevreuil
    • 3
  • Régis Moilleron
    • 1
  1. 1.LEESUUniversité Paris-EstCréteilFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQUniversité Paris-SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  3. 3.UMR METIS 7619PSL Research University, Sorbonne UniversitésParisFrance
  4. 4.UMR 5805 EPOC, Equipe LPTCUniversité de BordeauxTalenceFrance

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