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Human Health Risk Assessment of Environmental Exposure to Organochlorine Compounds in the Catalan Stretch of the Ebro River, Spain


In this study, the environmental impact and human health risks associated with exposure to organochlorine compounds (OCs) through soils and tap water in the Catalan stretch of the Ebro River, Spain, were investigated. The concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorocyclohexanes, as well as DDT and derivates, were determined. Relatively low levels of these pollutants were observed, with mean concentrations ranging between 0.51–315.8 μg/kg and 0.05–74.6 ng/L in soil and tap water, respectively. These values are similar to those found in a number of recent surveys over the world. In spite of the presence of a chlor-alkali plant located upstream the Ebro River, which could mean a potential source of pollution, the current levels of OCs should not mean significant additional health risks for the local population.

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This study was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and the Water Catalan Agency (ACA), Generalitat de Catalunya, through the Mobitrof project.

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Correspondence to José L. Domingo.

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Ferré-Huguet, N., Bosch, C., Lourencetti, C. et al. Human Health Risk Assessment of Environmental Exposure to Organochlorine Compounds in the Catalan Stretch of the Ebro River, Spain. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83, 662–667 (2009).

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  • Organochlorine compounds
  • Soils
  • Tap water
  • Human health risk assessment
  • Ebro River (Catalonia Spain)