, Volume 494, Issue 1–3, pp 93–101 | Cite as

Pesticides and heavy metals in Danish streambed sediment

  • B. Kronvang
  • A. Laubel
  • S. E. Larsen
  • N. Friberg


The role of streambed sediment as a sink for pesticides and heavy metals was investigated in 30 Danish lowland streams. The investigated streams drain catchments varying in hydrology, topography, soil type and land use. The <250 μm newly accumulated fraction of the uppermost 1–2 cm layer of streambed sediment was analysed for 19 old and modern pesticides and 9 heavy metals. DDE was present in the sediment of all the streams. Of the herbicides, fungicides and insecticides currently in use, the most frequently detected was diuron (50.0%), fenpropimorph (66.7%) and lambda-cyhalothrin (6.7%), respectively. The pesticides detected in the highest concentration were fenpropimorph (1700 ng g−1), propiconazole (130 ng g−1) and isoproturon (110 ng g−1). The heavy metals are listed in order of increasing median concentration: Cd (0.80 μg g−1), Co (9.1 μg g−1), As (12.0 μg g−1), Ni (19.0 μg g−1), Cr (19.2 μg g−1), Pb (19.7 μg g−1), Cu (20.1 μg g−1), V (28.5 μg g−1), Zn (103 μg g−1). The average number of pesticides detected in the 27 streams draining predominantly agricultural catchments was (3.7±2.0) being higher (p=0.077) than in the three streams draining non-agricultural catchments (1.7±0.6). Pesticides were significantly related to catchment size, soil type and hydrological regime. Several heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Pb, V and Zn) were related to urban activity and soil type.

pesticides heavy metals streambed sediment catchment relationships 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Kronvang
    • 1
  • A. Laubel
    • 2
  • S. E. Larsen
    • 1
  • N. Friberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Freshwater EcologyNational Environmental Research InstituteSilkeborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Marine EnvironmentVejle CountyVejleDenmark

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