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Persistent DDE in the Mesopotamian Wetlands of Southern Iraq


Screening of potential pollutants in surface sediments revealed that almost all persistent organochlorine pesticides were not detected in the newly flooded Mesopotamian wetlands of southern Iraq. This observation suggests that there has been minimal input of organochlorine pesticides recently except for p,p′-DDE which was the only pesticide residue detected (0.29–2.33 μg/kg). It was found in all samples indicating its ability to persist under severe drying of previously exposed surface sediments, high temperature, and intensive solar radiation. p,p′-DDE appears to have a negative relationship with wetland biota, such as zooplankton.

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We are grateful to the Canada-Iraq Marshlands Initiative, University of Waterloo and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for support. TDI-Brooks International, Texas graciously performed all laboratory analyses. We thank the local wetland dwellers for field assistance, without whose involvement, this study would not have been possible.

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Correspondence to Taro Asada.

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DouAbul, A.A.Z., Mohammed, S.S., Warner, B.G. et al. Persistent DDE in the Mesopotamian Wetlands of Southern Iraq. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 82, 690–693 (2009).

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  • DDE
  • Mesopotamian wetlands
  • Pesticide residues
  • Sediment