Status, sources and contamination levels of organochlorine pesticide residues in urban and agricultural areas: a preliminary review in central–southern Italian soils

Thiombane, M., Petrik, A., Di Bonito, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-8590-0267, Albanese, S., Zuzolo, D., Cicchella, D., Lima, A., Qu, C., Qi, S. and De Vivo, B., 2018. Status, sources and contamination levels of organochlorine pesticide residues in urban and agricultural areas: a preliminary review in central–southern Italian soils. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. ISSN 0944-1344

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Abstract

Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are synthetic chemicals commonly used in agricultural activities to kill pests and are persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They can be detected in different environmental media, but soil is considered an important reservoir due to its retention capacity. Many different types of OCPs exist, which can have different origins and pathways in the environment. It is therefore important to study their distribution and behaviour in the environment, starting to build a picture of the potential human health risk in different contexts. This study aimed at investigating the regional distribution, possible sources and contamination levels of 24 OCP compounds in urban and rural soils from central and southern Italy. One hundred and forty-eight topsoil samples (0–20 cm top layer) from 78 urban and 70 rural areas in 11 administrative regions were collected and analysed by gas chromatography–electron capture detector (GC–ECD). Total OCP residues in soils ranged from nd (no detected) to 1043 ng/g with a mean of 29.91 ng/g and from nd to 1914 ng/g with a mean of 60.16 ng/g in urban and rural area, respectively. Endosulfan was the prevailing OCP in urban areas, followed by DDTs, Drins, Methoxychlor, HCHs, Chlordane-related compounds and HCB. In rural areas, the order of concentrations was Drins > DDTs > Methoxychlor > Endosulfans > HCHs > Chlordanes > HCB. Diagnostic ratios and robust multivariate analyses revealed that DDT in soils could be related to historical application, whilst (illegal) use of technical DDT or dicofol may still occur in some urban areas. HCH residues could be related to both historical use and recent application, whilst there was evidence that modest (yet significant) application of commercial technical HCH may still be happening in urban areas. Drins and Chlordane compounds appeared to be mostly related to historical application, whilst Endosulfan presented a complex mix of results, indicating mainly historical origin in rural areas as well as potential recent applications on urban areas. Contamination levels were quantified by Soil Quality Index (SoQI), identifying high levels in rural areas of Campania and Apulia, possibly due to the intensive nature of some agricultural practices in those regions (e.g., vineyards and olive plantations). The results from this study (which is in progress in the remaining regions of Italy) will provide an invaluable baseline for OCP distribution in Italy and a powerful argument for follow-up studies in contaminated areas. It is also hoped that similar studies will eventually constitute enough evidence to push towards an institutional response for more adequate regulation as well as a full ratification of the Stockholm Convention.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Creators: Thiombane, M., Petrik, A., Di Bonito, M., Albanese, S., Zuzolo, D., Cicchella, D., Lima, A., Qu, C., Qi, S. and De Vivo, B.
Publisher: Springer
Date: 6 July 2018
ISSN: 0944-1344
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1007/s11356-018-2688-5DOI
Rights: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Jul 2018 11:16
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2018 11:16
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34027

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