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Determination of DDT and Metabolites in Surface Water and Sediment Using LLE, SPE, ACE and SE


Surface water and sediment samples collected from Jukskei River in South Africa, were subjected to different extraction techniques, liquid–liquid (LLE), solid-phase extraction (SPE), activated carbon extraction (ACE) and soxhlet extraction (SE) for sediment. The samples were extracted with dichloromethane, cleaned in a silica gel column and the extracts quantified using a Varian 3800 GC-ECD. The percentage recovery test for 2,4′DDT, DDE and DDD and 4,4′DDT, DDE and DDD in water ranged from 80%–96% and 76%–95% (LLE); 56%–76% and 56%–70% (SPE) and 75%–84% (ACE), respectively; while that recoveries for sediment samples varied from 65%–95% for 2,4′DDT, DDE and DDD and 80%–91% for 4,4′DDT, DDE and DDD. The high recoveries exhibited by ACE compared very well with LLE and SE. This was not the case with SPE which exhibited the lowest value of recoveries for both 2,4 and 4,4′DDD, DDE and DDT standard samples. The mean concentrations of DDT and metabolites ranged from nd-1.10 μg/L, nd-0.80 μg/L, nd-1.21 μg/L and 1.92 μg/L for LLE, SPE, ACE and SE, respectively. The total DDT (2,4′ and 4,4′-DDT) in water and sediment samples ranged from 1.20–3.25 μg/L and 1.82–5.24 μg/L, respectively. The low concentrations of the DDT metabolites obtained in the present study may suggest a recent contamination of the river by DDT.

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The authors are indebted to Tshwane University of Technology for financial support to Mr. Linda Sibali for his doctoral degree.

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Correspondence to Jonathan O. Okonkwo.

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Sibali, L.L., Okonkwo, J.O. & Zvinowanda, C. Determination of DDT and Metabolites in Surface Water and Sediment Using LLE, SPE, ACE and SE. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83, 885–891 (2009).

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  • Extraction methods
  • DDT
  • Metabolites
  • Surface water
  • Sediments