Concentrations, temporal trends and fluxes of persistent organic pollutants (POPs: PAHs, PCBs and PBDEs) were determined in soil and 210 Pb-dated sediment cores from remote lacustrine environments (El Tule and Santa Elena lakes) in rural areas of Central Mexico. In both areas, the concentrations of target analytes in soil and sediment samples were comparable and indicative of slightly contaminated environments. The prevalence of low-molecular-weight PAHs in soils suggested their mainly atmospheric origin, in contrast to the aquatic sediments where runoff contribution was also significant. Increasing contamination trends of PCBs and PBDEs were evident, showing maximum fluxes of 4.8±2.1 and 0.3±0.1ngcm −2 a −1 for PCBs and PBDEs, respectively. The predominance of lower-brominated PBDEs and lower-chlorinated PCBs in soils and sediments indicated that their presence is mostly due to long-range atmospheric transport.
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Unidad Académica Procesos Oceánicos y Costeros, Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 México D. F., Mexico
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