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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 6601–6609 | Cite as

Levels and distribution of Dechloranes in sediments of Lake Taihu, China

  • Dian Yu
  • Jing Yang
  • Ting Li
  • Jianfang Feng
  • Qiming XianEmail author
  • Jiping ZhuEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

The occurrence and spatial distribution of dechloranes including mirex, dechlorane plus (DP), dechlorane (Dec) 602, Dec 603, and Dec 604 in surficial sediments of Lake Taihu were investigated in this study. The concentrations of mirex and DP ranged from below detection limit (BDL) to 1.29 ng g−1 dw and 0.051 to 2.10 ng g−1 dw, respectively. Dec 602, Dec 603, and Dec 604 on the other hand, were BDL in any of the samples. The contamination levels of DP were higher than that of Mirex at 21 of all 22 sampling sites. Levels of mirex and DP in the lake sediments were correlated when an extremely high mirex value was removed. Both mirex and DP levels were correlated with the amount of organic matters in the sediment samples. Spatial distribution of mirex and DP suggested that these two chemicals in the lake had similar input sources except for one site. Comparison to previously reported flame retardants’ levels in the sediments shows that DP levels were similar with the levels of tetrabromobisphenol A, hexabromocyclododecane but lower than PBDEs and organophosphates levels in Lake Taihu. The higher levels in the north-east part of Lake Taihu adjacent to two major cities: Wuxi and Suzhou, indicated that city effluent might be a major source for DP contamination in the lake.

Keywords

Mirex Dechlorane plus Sediment Lake Taihu Spatial distribution 

Introduction

Mirex, which is also called dechlorane, was used as both pesticide and additive flame retardant (FRs) (Shen et al. 2011). Use of mirex as flame retardant was later substituted by other highly chlorinated compounds with similar properties including Dechlorane 602 (Dec 602), Dechlorane 603 (Dec 603), Dechlorane 604 (Dec 604), and Dechlorane plus (DP). Together, they are called Dechloranes (Shen et al. 2010). Mirex was banned in the USA in the late 1970s. However, China did not ban the production and use of mirex until 2009 (Wang et al. 2010a). DP is used in wire coatings, electrical hard plastic connectors, and furniture. DP is on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s High Production Volume (HPV) list (Sverko et al. 2011) and has been most extensively monitored chemical among dechloranes and has been ubiquitously detected in different environmental matrix around the world (Sverko et al. 2011; Xian et al. 2011). Recent reports of the presence of other Dechloranes in humans in Canada (Zhou et al. 2014) and in France (Brasseur et al. 2014) seem to suggest that humans are exposed not only to DP, but also to other less well known Dechloranes like Dec 602 and Dec 603.

Lake Taihu is the third largest freshwater Lake in China, located in the heart of Chinese economic center of Yangtze River Delta. The lake is surrounded by Wuxi in the north, Suzhou in the east. Wuxi and Suzhou are two major Chinese cities with a population of 6.4 and 10.5 million, respectively (http://zh.wikipedia.org/ (Only in Chinese)). The lake connects the regions of Huzhou and Yixing in the south and west, respectively. These regions are largely agriculture areas. Similar to the importance of Great Lakes to North America, Lake Taihu is very important to China. Although its basin covers only 0.4 % of the total country’s territory, it contributes about 10 % of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 3 % of the national grain production (Liu et al. 2009). With rapid economic development and population growth, environmental imprints resulted from human activities, including industrial, agricultural, and municipal activities, have great impact on Lake Taihu.

Interests in the influence of flame retardant and the health status of ecosystem of the lake have been increasing in recent years. For example, Qiu et al. (2010) studied polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and several other flame retardants including DP in the atmosphere and water collected from the northern shore of Lake Taihu in 2004–2005. Results of seasonal variations of PBDEs in air and water indicated a possible wastewater discharge of PBDEs into the lake. The same study also found that annual average DP levels in air was low at 3.5 pg m−3. Lake sediments are normally the final pathway of both natural and anthropogenic components produced or derived to the environment. Sediment quality is a good indicator of pollution in water column, where it tends to concentrate hydrophobic organic pollutants. Zhou et al. (2012) have reported the levels of PBDEs in the sediment collected from Meiliang Bay of the Lake Taihu showing a parallel temporal trend of the growth of GDP in Wuxi. Xu et al. (2013) have reported the levels of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in sediment of Lake Taihu suggesting that the estuary inputs around Taihu Lake were important sources of these compounds. Cao et al. (2012) have monitored the levels of organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) in sediments of Lake Taihu implying a potential emission source at Suzhou. In the current study, we further examine the sources of environmental pollutants in Lake Taihu by mapping the levels of mirex and DP in the surficial sediments of the lake.

Materials and methods

Chemicals

Mirex (CAS# 2385-85-5) was purchased from Accustandard Inc. (New Haven, CT). Dec 602 (CAS# 31107-44-5), Dec 603 (CAS# 13560-92-4), and Dec 604 (CAS# 34571-16-9) were purchased from Toronto Research Chemical Inc. (Toronto, ON, Canada). Syn-DP (CAS# 135821-03-3) and anti-DP (CAS# 135821-74-8), as well as 13C12-PCB-208 (CAS# 52663-77-1) and 13C12-PCB-209 (CAS# 2051-24-3) were purchased from Cambridge Isotope Laboratories Inc. (Andover, MA, USA). DP technical product was obtained from Anpon Electrochemical Company, Jiangsu, China. Hexane, dichloromethane, acetone, and isooctane in pesticide grade were purchased from Merck (Darmstadt, Germany), Roe (Newark, USA), Duksan (Seoul, Korea), and Tedia (Fairfield, USA), respectively.

Sampling and sample pretreatment

Samples were collected in September 2012. Locations of the twenty-two sampling sites (TL-1 to TL-22) were shown in Fig. 1. Their exact geographic coordinates are listed in Table 1. Surficial sediment samples (top 0–10 cm) were obtained using a stainless steel grab sampler and placed in pre-cleaned amber glass bottles. All samples were freeze-dried, ground, sieved through a 60-mesh stainless steel sieve and stored at −20 °C until extraction.
Fig. 1

Sampling sites (TL-1 to TL-22) in Lake Taihu in Jiangsu province, east China. Average population density (persons km−2) of surrounding areas (Wuxi, Yixing, Suzhou,Changzhou and Huzhou) is indicated in the parentheses

Table 1

Concentrations of mirex and DP in sediments of Lake Taihu (if the concentration of a target compound was below dl, half of the dl value was used in calculating mean value)

Site

Latitude/N

Longitude/E

Concentration (ng g−1 dw)

f syn

f OM (%)

mirex

syn-DP

anti-DP

DP

TL-1

31.5372

120.2201

0.130

0.499

1.60

2.10

0.24

5.1

TL-2

31.5191

120.2132

0.100

0.207

0.706

0.913

0.23

4.1

TL-3

31.4968

120.2101

0.037

0.192

0.497

0.690

0.28

4.6

TL-4

31.4601

120.0549

0.037

0.157

0.460

0.617

0.25

6.4

TL-5

31.4409

120.0706

0.124

0.142

0.379

0.521

0.27

5.8

TL-6

31.4345

120.0352

0.030

0.083

0.209

0.292

0.28

4.4

TL-7

31.4330

120.3580

0.080

0.327

0.938

1.26

0.26

4.3

TL-8

31.4040

120.1801

<0.015*

0.102

0.320

0.422

0.24

4.0

TL-9

31.3789

120.2479

<0.015

0.085

0.265

0.350

0.24

2.9

TL-10

31.3621

120.2297

0.016

0.091

0.288

0.379

0.24

3.4

TL-11

31.3486

120.0732

0.027

0.217

0.959

1.18

0.18

3.7

TL-12

31.2979

119.9613

0.020

0.093

0.270

0.363

0.26

3.6

TL-13

31.2636

119.9960

<0.015

0.190

0.300

0.490

0.39

3.4

TL-14

31.2490

120.2657

0.037

0.112

0.404

0.516

0.22

3.8

TL-15

31.1864

120.3176

0.044

0.047

0.155

0.202

0.23

4.0

TL-16

31.1793

120.0076

<0.015

0.073

0.246

0.319

0.23

3.3

TL-17

31.1504

120.3774

<0.015

0.052

0.210

0.262

0.20

4.3

TL-18

31.1270

120.0058

0.021

0.062

0.163

0.225

0.28

3.2

TL-19

31.1172

120.3457

1.29

0.015

0.049

0.064

0.23

3.6

TL-20

30.9894

120.1354

0.024

0.119

0.378

0.497

0.24

4.0

TL-21

30.9688

120.1236

0.030

0.061

0.162

0.224

0.27

3.4

TL-22

30.9630

120.1330

<0.015

0.014

0.036

0.051

0.28

2.2

Range

  

<0.015–1.29

0.014–0.499

0.036–1.60

0.051–2.10

0.18–0.39

2.2–6.4

Mean

  

0.095

0.134

0.409

0.543

0.25

4.0

All samples were prepared according to a previously reported method with some modifications (Jia et al. 2011). Briefly, 10 g of sample were Soxhlet-extracted for 24 h with 150 mL of hexane/acetone mixture (1:1, v/v) after being spiked with a recovery standard (13C12-PCB-209). The extract was rotary-evaporated to about 40 mL, placed in a separation funnel, and then washed with 2–3 mL of 98 % H2SO4 to remove fat. Then the extract was rotary-evaporated to 2 mL and eluted through a column with 50 mL of hexane/dichloromethane mixture (1:1, v/v). The column had been packed with 3 g of anhydrous sodium sulfate (baked at 350 °C for 3 h before use) on the top and 10 g of silica gel (activated at 135 °C for 16 h before use) on the bottom. The eluent was concentrated to 2 mL by a rotary evaporator and further reduced to less than 500 μL under a gentle steam of N2, then solvent-exchanged to isooctane. After addition of internal standard (13C12-PCB-208), the final volume was adjusted to 500 μL prior to GC-MS analysis.

Analytical procedure

Extracts were analyzed by Trace Ultra gas chromatograph equipped with a Trace DSQ II quadrupole mass spectrometer detector (Thermo Scientific, USA) and a DB-5 MS capillary column (30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 μm, J&K Scientific, USA). The initial GC oven temperature was set at 90 °C for 0.5 min, ramped at 25 °C min−1 to 240 °C, at 2 °C min−1 to 260 °C, then at 20 °C min−1 to 280 °C and held at this final temperature for 20 min. One microliter sample was injected into GC/MS with splitless injection mode. The MS was operated in negative ion chemical ionization (NCI) mode using methane as reagent gas and signal recording was in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. The injector, ion source, and transfer line temperatures were set at 260, 200, and 280 °C, respectively. Helium gas was used as the carrier and the flow rate was constant at 1 mL min−1. The following ions were selected for each analyte with the first ion being used for quantification: m/z 401.7/403.7/436.7 for mirex, 340.8/611.6/615.6 for Dec 602, 635.6/637.6/639.6 for Dec 603, 81/79/541.6 for Dec 604, 653.5/651.5/655.5 for syn-DP and anti-DP, 441.7/473.7/475.7 for 13C12-PCB-208, 509.7/475.7/511.7 for 13C12-PCB-209.

Quality assurance/quality control

Detection of a peak was confirmed if it met the following three criteria: 1) the GC retention times of samples matched those of the standard substances within ±0.1 min; 2) signal-to-noise ratio was greater than 3:1; and 3) ion ratios in the sample were within 15 % of the standards. Pre-extracted soil was used as lab procedural blanks. Among target analytes, only low levels of DP were detected in procedural blanks. However, the highest DP level in procedural blanks was eight times lower than the minimum DP levels found in sediment samples. Blank correction, therefore, was not performed. Recoveries of target chemicals spiked to the pre-extracted soil samples (n = 3) were 73 ± 11 % for mirex, 85 ± 4 % for Dec 602, 90 ± 6 % for Dec 603, 103 ± 6 % for Dec 604, 91 ± 8 % for syn-DP and 84 ± 4 % for anti-DP. The recoveries of 13C12-PCB-209 in all samples were 109 ± 9 %. Reported sample concentrations were not recovery-corrected. The detection limit (DL) was 15 pg g−1 dw for mirex, 20 pg g−1 dw for Dec 602, 25 pg g−1 dw for Dec 603, 15 pg g−1 dw for Dec 604, 1.75 pg g−1 dw for syn-DP, and 1.5 pg g−1 dw for anti-DP. If the concentration of a target compound was below DL, half of the DL value was used in data analysis.

Organic matter fraction (f OM) in sediment

Ten grams of each sediment sample was used for f OM determination. Samples were oven-dried at 105 °C for 8 h to a constant weight (m1). Then, the samples were baked at 550 °C for 6 h to a constant weight (m2). The f OM was calculated as the difference between m1 and m2 divided by m1 times 100 %.

Statistical analysis

If the concentration of a target compound was below DL, half of the DL value was used in data analysis by SPSS 16.0 software. Pearson Product Moment Correlation test was used to investigate possible correlation between mirex and DP as well as f OM.

Results and discussion

Concentrations of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu

The concentrations of mirex and DP in the sediment samples of Lake Taihu along with exact geographic coordinates are showed in Table 1. Mirex was detected in 73 % of the samples, while DP was found in all samples. Dec 602, Dec 603, and Dec 604 were not detected in any of the samples. Compared to reported values in surficial sediments of other three places (Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Dalian costal, and Bohai and Huanghai Sea shore) in China (Wang et al. 2010b, 2011a; Jia et al. 2011), levels of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu in the present study were lower. Dechloranes including mirex and DP in the Great Lakes in North America were also reported (Shen et al. 2010, 2011). In general, mirex and DP levels in Lake Taihu were lower than levels reported for Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario is surrounded by many industries and urban centers. Levels found in this study were similar to those in Lake Huron. The other three lakes in the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Erie, had DP levels lower than ours.

Table 2 summarized DP levels in sediments reported detected in China and around the world including the USA, Spain, and Korea. These comparisons (Table 2) showed that the levels of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu were within the ranges found in other places, in spite of the fact that Lake Taihu is located in a densely populated area of the Yangtze River delta in China.
Table 2

Mirex and DP levels (ng g−1 dw) in surficial sediments

Location

Country

Samplers

Mirex

DP

Ref.

Lake Taihu

China

22

0.015–1.29

0.051–2.10

This study

Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal

China

2

16.1–44.3

1.86–8

Wang et al. 2010b

Costal of city Dalian

China

33

BDL–39.9

0.69–7.00

Wang et al. 2011a

Bohai and Huanghai Sea shore

China

15

BDL–4.3

0.017–10.3

Jia et al. 2011

Lake Ontario

Canada

6

0.19–10

1.85–105

Shen et al. 2010

Lake Huron

Canada

8

BDL–1.4

0.014–4.39

Shen et al. 2010

Lake Superior

Canada

6

0.002–0.01

0.055–0.93

Shen et al. 2010

Lake Michigan

Canada

2

0.00064–0.026

0.177–1.69

Shen et al. 2010

Lake Erie

Canada

2

0.02–0.027

1.02–1.32

Shen et al. 2010

Songhua River, rural Harbin

China

18

\a

BDL–0.16

Qi et al. 2010

Urban Harbin

China

6

\

BDL–0.15

Qi et al. 2010

Reservoir near the e-waste recycling site

China

6

\

78790

Wu et al. 2010

Ebro river basin

Spain

5

\

0.07–1.61

Baron et al. 2012

San Francisco Bay

U.S.A.

10

\

0.2

Klosterhaus et al. 2012

Pohang Bay

Korea

6

\

0.01–0.936

Fang et al. 2014

Busan Bay

Korea

5

\

0.008–0.196

Fang et al. 2014

aNot available

Spatial distribution of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu

The spatial distribution of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu was depicted in Fig. 2. There was no obvious trend for mirex levels (Fig. 2a), as mirex levels in general were low and many of them were near or below the detection limit of 0.015 ng g−1 dw, except for the level in site TL-19 (1.29 ng g−1 dw). The site TL-19 is between the township Xishan and Dongshan in southeast of Lake Taihu, followed by TL-1 (Meiliang Bay) and TL-5 (Zhushan Bay) in the northwest. A decreasing gradient of DP levels from north-east to south-west however, could be observed (Fig. 2b). The highest DP level (2.1 ng g−1 dw) was found in site TL-1, followed by TL-7 (Gong Bay) and TL-11 (Meiliang Bay). The different organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) application history in different regions around the lake may also partially contribute to the spatial distribution of OCPs in the sediments. Xishan and Dongshan both have intensive agricultural activities; Xishan is a national modern agriculture demonstration zone (http://www.topincn.net/) and Dongshan is famous for the tea and fruit plantation (http://www.dszrmzf.gov.cn/ (Only in Chinese)). Although there is no direct information of recent agricultural use of mirex in these two townships, the high mirex level at site TL-19 point to the runoff of agriculture use of mirex into Lake Taihu from the region. This is supported by Pearson correlation test results: measured DP and mirex levels in Lake Taihu were correlated when site TL-19 was excluded (r = 0.69, p = 0.0005). However, levels of the two chemicals were not correlated when all data were considered (r = −0.138, p = 0.54).
Fig. 2

The spatial distribution (30.9630° N to 31.5372° N, 119.9613° E to 120.3774° E ) of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu (Drawn by Surfer (Golden Software, Vision8.0), interpolation method: Kriging)

In a recent study, the highest levels of OCP contamination in surface sediment was also observed in southeast of the Lake (Wang et al. 2012b). Meiliang Bay and Gong Bay are close to areas in the city of Wuxi. The Meiliang Bay also has received large amounts of industrial wastewater and municipal sewage as evidenced by PBDE concentrations (Yan et al. 2012; Zhou et al. 2012). Another interesting observation was that the concentration gradient of DP levels in Lake Taihu follows the population density surrounding the lake (Fig. 1). Population density of Wuxi, Changzhou and Suzhou on the north and east side of the lake is 1344, 1060, and 1239 persons/km2, respectively (http://zh.wikipedia.org/ (Only in Chinese)), while the average population densities on the west (Yixing) and south (Huzhou) side of the lake are much lower at 606 and 499 persons/km2, respectively (http://zh.wikipedia.org/; http://www.huzhou.gov.cn/ (Only in Chinese)).

DP isomer ratio in sediments

The f syn value was defined as the syn-DP concentration divided by the total DP concentration was useful to study DP’s environmental behavior once it was released into the environment. The f syn values of sediment samples in Lake Taihu only varied in a relatively small scale, ranged from 0.20 to 0.28 (Table 1), with two exceptions (sample TL-13 (f syn = 0.39) and TL-11 (f syn = 0.18)). DP isomer ratios varied among different manufacturers and production lots within a manufacturer. Various f syn values for technical DP products were reported and the values in USA ranged from 0.20 to 0.36 (Hoh et al. 2006; Qiu et al. 2007; Shen et al. 2010; Wang et al. 2012a; Yang et al. 2011; Zhu et al. 2008). The f syn value of the technical DP product from Anpon manufacturer in China was previously reported to be 0.40–0.41 (Wang et al. 2010b). We chose 0.35 (mean f syn of commercial products) as a standard here (Tomy et al. 2007) and used one-sample t test (significance level α = 0.05) to analyse the difference of f syn between the samples and commercial products. The result showed a significant difference between them (P < 0.05), indicating that syn-DP isomer occurred selective degradation. The enrichment of anti-DP over syn-DP could be attributable to higher adsorption of anti-DP by the sediment or preferential bio-degradation of syn-DP in the sediment (Fang et al. 2014). DP isomer ratio can be influenced by many factors including microbial degradation (Wang et al. 2012a), long range atmospheric transport (Hoh et al. 2006), and bioaccumulation (Wu et al. 2010).

Linkage of pollutants to organic matter content of the sediments

Sediment organic matter (OM) is the important factor affecting the sorption behavior of organic compounds (Sun et al. 2013). Therefore, Dechloranes levels in sediments might be correlated with the organic matter fraction (f OM). The f OM values in the sediments of Lake Taihu varied from 2.2 to 6.4 % (Table 1). DP levels were moderately correlated with f OM using Pearson correlation test (r = 0.43, p = 0.046), implying that organic matter played some roles in influencing on the distribution and concentrations of Dechloranes in Lake Taihu. Similar relationships between Dechloranes and f OM were also observed in Dalian coastal sediments (Jia et al. 2011), as well as Qiantang River sediments (Sun et al. 2013). A strong correlation between mirex and f OM when the mirex value in site TL-19 was excluded (r = 0.59, p = 0.0005), similar to the relationship between DP and mirex as discussed in previous section. When mirex in TL-19 was included, no correlation however could be observed (r = −0.013, p = 0.95).

Interestingly, the correlations of OM and DP levels in sediments in Lake Taihu showed three distinguished groups of sediment samples, coinciding with the DP levels. Samples from north-east part of the lake (TL-1–TL-3, TL-7–TL-11, and TL-14) where higher levels of DP were found, had a relationship of DP (ng g−1 dw) = 0.65 × f OM (%)- 1.75, R 2 = 0.55. In comparison, samples from South-west part of the lake where DP levels were relatively low (TL-12, TL-13, TL-16, TL-18 and TL-20–TL-22), had a relationship of DP (ng g−1 dw) = 0.25 × f OM (%)- 0.51, R 2 = 0.73. The third group of samples was from Zhushan Bay and townships of Xishan and Dongshan. In these samples, a strong correlation between DP levels and f OM was found (R 2 = 0.98, DP (ng g−1 dw) = 0.19 × f OM (%)- 0.56). These results implied that DP distribution in sediment was not only related to the percentage of OM in the sediments, but also the nature of such organic matters (Wang et al. 2011b). For example, the OM contents both in north and east are comparatively higher than that in south and west, OM composition might be originated from algae in the north and aquatic macrophytes in the east, respectively. As we know, algal bloom occurred in the summer and autumn every year in the north of the lake while macrophytes were mainly distributed in the east part of the lake, where 95 % of the area covered by aquatic vegetation (Qin et al. 2007). Recently, Wu et al. (2012) reported the algae-derived organic carbon had a greater influence on the distribution of low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than that of high molecular weight PAHs in lake sediments.

Comparison of FRs levels in sediments of Lake Taihu

To better understand the contamination levels of different FRs in sediments of Lake Taihu, the reported levels of four FRs including PBDEs, HBCDs, TBBPA and OPFRs, and DP levels in the present study were shown in Table 3. The DP levels were comparable to that of HBCDs and TBBPA but lower than that of PBDEs and OPFRs in Lake Taihu. PBDEs, especially deca-BDE with higher levels in sediments were due to their high production volume, widespread usage, and environmental persistence. However, due to the ban on or phase-out of penta-, octa-BDEs and HBCDs, the use of OPFRs increased gradually to meet the commercial need, resulting high concentrations of OPFRs in the sediments. DP and PBDEs have similar application as FRs, this study also investigated possible correlation between them using a location by location comparison of 14 sampling sites (Table S1) where PBDEs data were cited from the study of Zhou et al. (2012). The relationships between the concentrations of 25 target PBDE congeners (BDE-7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 25, 28, 30, 35, 37, 47, 49, 66, 77, 99, 100, 118, 119, 138, 153, 154, 183, 190) (∑25PBDEs) as well as BDE-209 of the literature and that of DP in this study were analyzed using a Pearson correlation, and the results were showed in Table 4. Positive correlation was found between the ∑25PBDEs and DP with a correlation coefficient equal to 0.766 (Sig.(two-tailed) = 0.001). However, no correlation was found between BDE-209 and DP (correlation coefficient = −0.331, Sig.(two-tailed) = 0.247); it is likely that different sampling time resulted in the difference of sediment samples even though sampling sites are almost closed. Since 2000, the serious water pollution has arisen in Lake Taihu and many technologies have been applied in lake remediation including phytoremediation, sediment dredging and water transfer, etc. These measures would influence more or less the sediment resuspension and deposition in Lake Taihu.
Table 3

Levels (ng g−1 dw) of different flame retardants in sediments of Lake Taihu

Name

Location

Year

Samples (n)

Range (Mean)

Ref.

25PBDEs

Whole lake

2010

28

0.389–34.44 (5.23)

Zhou et al. 2012

BDE-209

 

9.68–143.51 (37.49)

Zhou et al. 2012

HBCDs

Whole lake

2010

11

BDL–2.56 (0.95)

Xu et al. 2013

TBBPA

 

0.056–2.15 (0.70)

Xu et al. 2013

3OPFRs

North–east

NA

28

0.89–10.98 (5.27)

Cao et al. 2012

DP

Whole lake

2012

22

0.051–2.10 (0.543)

This study

25PBDEs except for BDE-209

BDL below detection limit, NA not available

Table 4

Pearson’s correlation for PBDEs and DP levels in Lake Taihu (n = 14)

Compound

25PBDEs

BDE-209

DP

25PBDEs

 Pearson correlation

 

−0.161

0.766

 Sig. (two-tailed)

 

0.583

0.001

BDE-209

 Pearson correlation

−0.161

 

−0.331

 Sig. (two-tailed)

0.583

 

0.247

DP

 Pearson correlation

0.766

−0.331

 

 Sig. (two-tailed)

0.001

0.247

 

Inventories of mirex and DP in Lake Taihu

Lake Taihu is an important ecosystem supporting many aquatic products. Contaminated sediment in the lake is considered to be an important pollution source for aquatic organisms, especially those living on the bottom of the lake. In addition, contaminants dissolved in the water of the lake flow into two developed and populated areas, the Huangpu River in the downstream of the Yangtze River, and the Hangzhou Bay. To assess the potential effect of sediment as a pollution source of mirex and DP on aquatic ecosystem and downstream rivers of Lake Taihu, the inventories (I, kg) of mirex and DP in the surficial sediments (0–10 cm) of Lake Taihu were calculated by the following equation (Zhou et al. 2012).
$$ I\kern0.5em =k{C}_i{A}_id\rho $$

where C i (ng g−1 dw ) is the average concentration of mirex or DP in surficial sediment, A i (km2) is area of Lake Taihu equal to 2338.1 km2, d (cm) is the thickness of the surficial sediment sampled assumed to be 10 cm, ρ (g cm−3) is the average density of the dry sediment particles considered to be 1.5 g cm−3, k is the unit conversion factor equal to 0.01. The inventories of mirex and DP in the top 10-cm sediments in Lake Taihu were estimated to be 33 and 190 kg, respectively. The amount of DP was 1–3 orders of magnitude lower than ∑25PBDEs and BDE-209, which were 3668 and 26,296 kg based on 20-cm sediment, respectively (Zhou et al. 2012). It is not surprising because PDBEs have been widely used for a long time. The temporal span of the 0–10 cm depth in the sediments of Lake Taihu was considered to be about 20–30 years according to the recent study where the sedimentation rate is calculated to be 0.31 cm/a in Lake Taihu (Xue and Yao 2011). However, this estimation of the sediment age might be affected by many factors such as deposition time and frequency of dredging project. This estimation however does not include the water movement in and out of Lake Taihu.

Conclusions

In this study, we have focused on investigation of two chlorinated chemicals mirex and DP in the surficial sediments of Lake Taihu to illustrate the impact of human activities on pollutions in Lake Taihu. To our knowledge, this is the first study to map the concentrations of mirex and DP in the sediments of this important lake. The concentrations of mirex and DP in the north to east were higher than that in the south to west. The content and composition of sediment organic matter significantly influenced the distribution of mirex and DP in the sediments. The spatial distribution of mirex and DP in the lake sediment suggested their similar sources of city effluence. Agricultural runoff for high mirex level in southeast of the lake was also evident. Although the levels of two compounds found in Lake Taihu were relatively low compared to other aquatic environment in China and around the world, DP continues to be used and will continue to enter into the lake, more attention to the levels of DP in this region should be paid in the future.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported financially by Public Welfare Project of Environmental Protection (201209016) and Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2013ZX07101014-06).

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3794_MOESM1_ESM.doc (38 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 37 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.China Environmental Monitoring StationBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Exposure and Biomonitoring DivisionHealth CanadaOttawaCanada

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