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Organochlorine pesticides and PCB residues in sediments of Alexandria Harbour, Egypt.

Marine pollution bulletin

analysis, Egypt, Environmental Monitoring, Geologic Sediments, Humans, Insecticides, Oceans and Seas, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Ships, Water Pollutants, Chemical

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      Persistent organochlorine compound concentrations were determined for 23 surface sediment samples collected from Alexandria Harbor, Egypt. Total PCB concentrations ranged from 0.9 to 1210 ng/g with four to seven Cl-substituted biphenyls being the most prevalent PCBs congeners. Different PCB congener distribution patterns were observed, probably reflecting different inputs and attenuation at various locations. Total DDT concentrations varied from <0.25 ng/g to 885 ng/g. The ratios of DDTs (2,4'- and 4,4'-DDT)/total DDTs (DDTs plus metabolites) in sediment samples from certain sites were 0.86 or higher, indicating little attenuation or recent input of DDT. Total chlordane (the sum of heptachlor and its epoxide, oxy-, gamma- and alpha-chlordane and cis + trans-nonachlor) ranged from <0.25 to 44 ng/g with the highest concentration found in the Arsenal Basin. The geographic distributions of PCBs, total DDTs and total chlordane were similar. Chlorinated benzenes (CBs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, chloropyrifos, endosulfan, mirex and pentachloroanisole were below detection limits or detected at low concentrations in most of the samples. Sites that were contaminated with high concentrations of organochlorine compounds were associated with dense population and low energy environment. The contamination levels of PCBs, total DDTs and total chlordane were in high range compared to other locations worldwide.

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