Status of POPs accumulation in the Yellow River Delta: From distribution to risk assessment

Marine Pollution Bulletin
Jing LiFadong Li


The Yellow River Delta (YRD) is a large region of China with complex pollution sources and a long history of environmental deterioration. Despite this, relatively little data exists on the status of important contaminants of concern in this region. Here, we review the literature on the status of key persistent organic pollutants (POPs) of concern including organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the YRD. Sources, source identification methods, and spatial distribution patterns are presented. Additionally, POPs contamination levels reported in the literature were evaluated against popular regulatory limits worldwide to form a basis for overall environmental health. Our review determined that OCPs in the YRD originated mainly from current pesticide use and past agricultural pesticide application. Sources of PAHs included petrochemical inputs, coal fired plants, and wood combustion. PCB levels were impacted by the petrochemical industry as well as waste disposal of PCB containing equipment. OCPs exhibited a spatial distribution pattern that increased along the urban-rural gradient, while the opposite was seen for PAHs and PCBs. Comparisons of POPs contamina...Continue Reading


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