Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 7375–7389 | Cite as

Occurrence of PCDD/PCDFs, dioxin-like PCBs, and PBDEs in surface sediments from the Neva River and the Eastern Gulf of Finland (Russia)

  • Larisa MetelkovaEmail author
  • Zoya Zhakovskaya
  • Galina Kukhareva
  • Alexander Rybalko
  • Vladimir Nikiforov
Advancements in chemical methods for environmental research


A total of 26 samples of surface sediments collected in the Neva River (including the St. Petersburg city area) and in the Russian part of the Gulf of Finland were analyzed for 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), 12 dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), and 10 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The concentrations of total PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs in sediments ranged from < 0.05 to 219 pg g−1 d.w. and from 44 to 246,600 pg g−1 d.w. respectively. The total World Health Organization toxic equivalent (WHO-TEQPCDD/F + PCB) values varied between 0.01 and 59.0 pg g−1. In the majority of cases, the PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations do not exceed the threshold effect level (TEL) recommended by Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) as quantitative target for the sum of PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs. The congener profile indicates that combustion is the primary source of PCDD/Fs in most of the studied samples. For the PCBs, the historical use of technical PCB products was identified as the major source. ΣPBDE10 concentrations ranged from 0.004 to 1.8 ng g−1 d.w. The congener profile results show that BDE-47 (tetra-BDE) is the dominant congener in sediment samples. According to the sediment and water quality guidelines established in the EU (PNEC) and in Canada (FEQG), all the samples studied can be classified as lowly contaminated by PBDEs. The sediment concentrations of PCDD/Fs, dl-PCBs, and PBDEs measured in this study were comparable to or lower than those reported for other areas of the Baltic Sea.


Gulf of Finland Neva River Bottom sediments PCDD/Fs dl-PCBs PBDEs 



Part of the data was obtained within the scope of the BALTHAZAR HELCOM project “Identification of sources of hazardous substances in Saint Petersburg area” (HELCOM 2012).


  1. AMAP (2002) Arctic pollution 2002 (persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, radioactivity, human heals, changing pathways).
  2. AMAP (2003) Environmentally sound management and elimination of PCBs in Russia, report 2003:4.
  3. AMAP (2007) Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP). Project on brominated flame retardants, report 2007:6.
  4. Anezaki K, Nagahora S (2014) Characterization of polychlorinated biphenyls, pentachlorobenzene, hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and dibenzofurans in surface sediments of Muroran Port, Japan. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21:9169–9181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baker JI, Hites RA (2000) Is combustion the major source of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans to the environment? A mass balance investigation. Environ Sci Technol 34(14):2879–2886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bakoglu M, Karademir A, Durmusoglu E (2005) Evaluation of PCDD/F levels in ambient air and soil and estimation of deposition rates in Kocaeli, Turkey. Chemosphere 59:1373–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bartnicki J., Gusev A., Aas W., Semeena V.S., Nyiri A. (2013) Atmospheric supply of nitrogen, lead, cadmium, mercury and dioxin/furans to the Baltic Sea in 2011. EMEP Centres Joint Report for HELCOM, technical report 2/2013. Supply of Nitrogen, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Dioxin/Furans to the Baltic Sea in 2011.pdf
  8. Borga K, Wolkers H, Skaare JU, Hop H, Muir DCG, Gabrielsen GW (2005) Bioaccumulation of PCBs in Arctic seabirds: influence of dietary exposure and congener biotransformation. Environ Pollut 134:397–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Broz J, Grabic R, Kilian J, Lojkasek M, Marklund S, Oselka T, Pekarek V, Pribyl J, Tydlitat V, Vyska J (2000) The effect of oils on PAH, PCDD, PCDF, and PCB emissions from a spark engine fueled with leaded gasoline. Chemosphere 41:1905–1911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. CCME (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment) (2001) Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Canadian sediment quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life: polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines, Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment: Winnipeg, ManitobaGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooper DA, Peterson K, Simpson D (1996) Hydrocarbon, PAH and PCB emissions from ferries: a case study in Skagerak-Kattegatt-Oresund region. Atmos Environ 30(14):2463–2473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Corsolini S, Borghesi N, Schiamone A, Focardi S (2007) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated Dibenzo-dioxins, –furans and –biphenyls in three species of Antarctic penguins. Environ Sci Pollut Res 14(6):421–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Wit CA (2002) An overview of brominated flame retardants in the environment. Chemosphere 46:583–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Wit CA, Alaee M, Muir DCG (2006) Levels and trends of brominated flame retardants in the Arctic. Chemosphere 64:209–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Domingo JL, Bocio A (2007) Levels of PCDD/PCDFs and PCBs in edible marine species and human intake: a literature review. Environ Int 33:397–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Government of Canada (GC) (2012) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the Canadian environment, report of project Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance in Support of the Chemicals Management Plan.
  17. Harrad S, Hunter S (2006) Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in air and soil on a rural-urban transect across a major UK conurbation. Environ Sci Technol 40:4548–4553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. HELCOM (2004) Dioxins in the Baltic Sea. in the Baltic sea.pdf/
  19. HELCOM (2009) Hazardous substances of specific concern to the Baltic Sea.
  20. HELCOM (2010) (b) BSEP120B (hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea).
  21. HELCOM (2012) Identification of sources of hazardous substances in St-Petersburg area. projects/balthazar/Google Scholar
  22. HELCOM (2013) Core indicator of hazardous substances, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dioxins and furans.
  23. Hermanson MH, Isaksson E, Forsstrom S, Teixeira C, Muir DCG, Pohjola VA, Van de Wal RSV (2010) Deposition history of brominated flame retardant compounds in an ice core from Holtedahlfonna, Svalbard, Norway. Environ Sci Technol 44:7405–7410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Horii Y, Bavel B, Kannan K, Petrick G, Nachtigall K, Yamashita N (2008) Novel evidence for natural formation of dioxins in ball clay. Chemosphere 70:1280–1289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. IPEP (2006) Brominated flame retardants in Russian Federation.
  26. Isosaari P (2004) Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran contamination of sediments and photochemical decontamination of soils. Academic Dissertation, Kuopio, Finland.
  27. Isosaari P, Pajunen H, Vartiainen T (2002a) PCDD/F and PCB history in dated sediments of a rural lake. Chemosphere 47:575–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Isosaari P, Kankaanpaa H, Mattila J, Kiviranta H, Verta M, Salo S, Vartiainen T (2002b) Spatial distribution and temporal accumulation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and biphenyls in the Gulf of Finland. Environ Sci Technol 36:2560–2565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jinhui L, Yuan C, Wenjing X (2017) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in articles: a review of its applications and legislation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:4312–4321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kishida M, Imamura K, Takenaka N, Maeda Y, Viet PH, Kondo A, Bandow H (2010) Characteristics of the abundance of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls in sediment samples from selected Asian regions in Can Gio, Southern Vietnam and Osaka, Japan. Chemosphere 78:127–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Korhonen M, Salo S, Kankaanpaa H, Ruokojarvi P, Verta M (2013) Sedimentation of PCDD/Fs and PCBs in the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea. Chemosphere 93(8):1541–1547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Korhonen M, Verta M, Salo S, Vuorenmaa J, Kiviranta H, Ruokojarvi P (2016) Atmospheric bulk deposition of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls in Finland. J Mar Sci Eng 4(56).
  33. Lacorte S, Guillamon M, Martinez E, Viana P, Barcelo D (2003) Occurrence and specific congener profile of 40 polybrominated diphenyl ethers in river and coastal sediments from Portugal. Environ Sci Technol 37:892–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Larsen M (2007) Dioxin concentrations in sediments of the Baltic Sea—a survey of existing data. Chemosphere 67:1762–1775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lassen C, Hansen E, Jensen AA, Olendrzynski K, Kolsut W, Zurek J, Kargulewicz I, Debski B, Skoskiewicz J, Holtzer M, Grochowalski A, Brante E, Poltimae H, Kallaste T, Kapturauskas J (2003) Survey of dioxin sources in the Baltic region. Environ Sci Pollut Res 10(1):49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Maistrenko V.N., Kluyev N.A. (2004) Ecological and analytical monitoring of persistent organic pollutants. Moscow, Russia (in Russian)Google Scholar
  37. Mattila J, Kankaanpaa H, Illus E (2006) Estimation of recent sediment accumulation rates in the Baltic Sea using artificial radionuclides 137Cs и 239,240Pu as time markers. Boreal Env Res 11:95–107Google Scholar
  38. Moon H-B, Kannan K, Lee S-J, Choi M (2007) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sediment and bivalves from Korean coastal waters. Chemosphere 66:243–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Negri A, Burns K, Boyle S, Brinkman D, Webster N (2006) Contamination in sediments, bivalves and sponges of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Environ Pollut 143(3):456–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Niemirycz E (2008) Halogenated organic compounds in the environment in relation to climate change. Environmental Monitoring Library, WarsawGoogle Scholar
  41. NIVA (Norwegian Institute for Water Research) (2009) Pollutants in sediment from a dated core from Baerum pool, report LNR 5818–2009, Oslo, Norway (in Norwegian)Google Scholar
  42. Nunes M, Marchand P, Vernisseau A, Le Bizec B, Ramos F, Pardal MA (2011) PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in sediment and biota from the Mondego estuary (Portugal). Chemosphere 83:1345–1352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ogura I, Masunaga S, Yoshida K, Nakanishi J (2002) Sources of PCBs in urban air and factors affecting their concentrations. Organohalogen Compd 56:197–200Google Scholar
  44. Okay OS, Karacik B, Basak S, Henkelmann B, Bernhoft S, Schramm K-W (2009) PCB and PCDD/F in sediments and mussels of the Istanbul strait (Turkey). Chemosphere 76:159–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Oros DR, Hoover D, Rodigari F, Crane D, Sericano J (2005) Levels and distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in water, surface sediments, and bivalves from the San Francisco Estuary. Environ Sci Technol 39:33–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Peltola J., Yla-Mononen L. (2000) Pentabromodiphenyl ether as a global POP, Finnish Environment Institute Chemical Division, TemaNord 2000: XXGoogle Scholar
  47. Ramu K, Isobe T, Takahashi S, Kim E-Y, Min B-Y, We S-U, Tanabe S (2010) Spatial distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and hexabromocyclododecanes in sediments from coastal waters of Korea. Chemosphere 79:713–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Samara F, Tsai CW, Aga DS (2006) Determination of potential sources of PCBs and PBDEs in sediments of the Niagara River. Environ Pollut 139:489–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Semeena V.S., Bartnicki J., Gusev A., Aas W. (2014) Atmospheric supply of nitrogen, lead, cadmium, mercury and dioxin/furans to the Baltic Sea in 2012. EMEP Centres Joint Report for HELCOM, technical report MSC-W 2/2014. Supply of Nitrogen, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Dioxin/Furans to the Baltic Sea in 2012.pdf
  50. Shelepchikov A, Shenderyuk V, Brodsky E, Feshin D, Baholdina L, Gorogankin S (2008) Contamination of Russian Baltic fish by polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and dioxin-like biphenyls. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 25(2):136–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sinkkonen S, Paasivirta J (2000) Degradation half-life times of PCDDs, PCDFs and PCBs for environment fate modeling. Chemosphere 40:943–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Song W, Ford JC, Li A, Mills WJ, Buckley DR, Rockne KJ (2004a) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in sediments of the Great Lakes. 1. Lake Superior. Environ Sci Technol 38:3286–3293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Song W, Li A, Ford JC, Sturchio NC, Rockne KJ, Buckley DR, Mills WJ (2004b) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in sediments of the Great Lakes. 2. Lakes Michigan and Huron. Environ Sci Technol 39:3474–3479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Song W, Ford JC, Li A, Sturchio NC, Rockne KJ, Buckley DR, Mills WJ (2004c) Polibrominated diphenyl ethers in sediments of the Great Lakes. 3. Lakes Ontario and Erie. Environ Sci Technol 39:5600–5605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sundqvist K, Tysklind M, Cato I, Bignert A, Wiberg K (2009) Levels and homolog profiles of PCDD/Fs in sediments along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea. Environ Sci Pollut Res 16:396–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thomsen M, Nielsen O-K, Illerup JB (2009) Unintentional formation and emission of the persistent organic pollutants HCB and PCB in the Nordic countries. TemaNord 2009:518. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. UNEP (1999) Guidelines for the identification of PCBs and materials containing PCBs.
  58. UNEP (2002) PCB transformers and capacitors—from management to reclassification and disposal.
  59. UNEP (2003) Standardized toolkit for identification and quantification of dioxin and furan releases, Geneva, Switzerland. www.pops .int / documents/guidance/toolkit_2003.pdf/
  60. Van den Berg M, Bimbaum LS, Denison M, De Vito M, Farland W, Feeley M, Fiedler H, Hakansson H, Hamberg A, Haws L, Rose M, Safe S, Schrenk D, Tohiama C, Tritscher A, Tuomisto J, Tysklind M, Walker N, Peterson RE (2006) The 2005 World Health Organization reevaluation of human and mammalian toxic equivalence factors for dioxins and dioxin-like compounds. Toxicol Sci 93:223–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Verta M, Salo S, Korhonen M, Assmuth T, Kiviranta H, Koistinen J, Ruokojarvi P, Isosaari P, Bergqvist P-A, Tysklind M, Cato I, Vikelsoe J, Larsen MM (2007) Dioxin concentrations in sediments of the Baltic Sea—a survey of existing data. Chemosphere 67:1762–1775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wang Z, Ma X, Lin Z, Na G, Yao Z (2009) Congener specific distributions of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sediment and mussel (Mytilus edulis) of the Bo Sea, China. Chemosphere 74:896–901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wurl O, Obbard JP (2005) Ogranochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in Singapore's coastal marine sediments. Chemosphere 58:925–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Yin G, Zbou Y, Strid A, Zheng Z, Bignert A, Ma T, Athanassiadis I, Qiu Y (2017) Spatial distribution and bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in snails (Bellamia aeruginosa) and sediments from Taihu Lake area, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:7740–7751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zhang H, Ni Y, Lu X, Chen J, Su F, Zhao L, Zhang Q, Zhang X (2008) Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in soil and sediments from Daliao River Basin, China. Chemosphere 73:1640–1648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhang H, Zhao X, Ni Y, Lu X, Chen J, Su F, Zhao L, Zhang N, Zhang X (2010) PCDD/Fs and PCBs in sediments of the Liaohe River, China: levels, distribution and possible sources. Chemosphere 79:754–762CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institution of Russian Academy of Sciences Saint-Petersburg Scientific-Research Centre for Ecological SafetySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Saint Petersburg UniversityUniversity Embankment 7/9St. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)TromsøNorway

Personalised recommendations