Past and recent state of sediment contamination by persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Rhône River: Overview of ecotoxicological implications

Abstract : Twenty-one sediment samples were taken from five dated sediment cores collected along the Rhône River from 2008 to 2011. A total of 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), 7 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 8 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 3 polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), 3 hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCD) and 31 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were investigated to provide information on deposition dynamics in time and space, but also regarding the ecotoxicological risks associated with these contaminants. Median concentrations of total PBDEs are nine times lower than the levels of total PCBs along the entire studied stretch of the Rhône River. The results show that total PBDEs concentrations range from 0.06 to 239 μg·kg−1 DW with a median value of 3.81 μg·kg−1 DW and a maximum concentration measured in the years 2000s. These maximum concentrations are identical to those measured for total PCBs at the end of the 1990s, but show a different pattern of distribution. Abnormal dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) levels were also detected in the downstream section of the river, with a peak concentration of 147.5 μg·kg−1 DW measured at the GEC site from 2005 onwards. Analyses of the enantiomeric fractions reveal a fresh input resulting from a technical formulation. Sediments from the core sampled at the most downstream site (GEC) are found to be highly toxic to organisms living nearby, particularly because of the total PCDD/Fs, DDE and DDT levels. In addition, based on available sediment quality guidelines, there may be a potential bioaccumulation risk for humans not only for these three compounds of concern but also for total PCBs and 7 out of the 8 analysed PBDEs. Graphical abstract
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 9:19:18 AM
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Yohan Liber, Brice Mourier, Philippe Marchand, Emmanuelle Bichon, Yves Perrodin, et al.. Past and recent state of sediment contamination by persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Rhône River: Overview of ecotoxicological implications. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2019, 646, pp.1037-1046. ⟨hal-01959858⟩

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