Concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals in soil from San Luis Potosí, México

  • Francisco Javier Perez-Vazquez
  • Rogelio Flores-Ramirez
  • Angeles Catalina Ochoa-Martinez
  • Sandra Teresa Orta-Garcia
  • Berenice Hernandez-Castro
  • Leticia Carrizalez-Yañez
  • Iván N. Pérez-Maldonado


The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and four heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) in soil from the city of San Luis Potosí in Mexico. In order to confirm the presence of the previously mentioned compounds, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometer for PBDEs, PCBs, DDT, and DDE. Meanwhile, heavy metals were quantified using the atomic absorption spectrophotometry technique. The total PBDEs levels ranged from 5.0 to 134 μg/kg dry weight (dw), with a total mean PBDEs level of 22.0 ± 32.5 μg/kg dw (geometric mean ± standard deviation). For PCBs, the total mean level in the studied soil was 21.6 ± 24.7 μg/kg dw (range, <LOD to 80.5). An important finding in our study was that all soil samples (100 %) had detectable levels of the metabolite DDE. Moreover, the total mean DDT level (∑ DDT and DDE) was approximately 5.50 ± 4.50 μg/kg dw. The mean levels for arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead in soil samples were 7.20 ± 10.7 (range, 15.0 to 265 mg/kg dw), 0.45 ± 0.48 (range, <LOD to 2.50 mg/kg dw), 3.00 ± 3.00 (range, 1.00–13.0 mg/kg dw), and 108 ± 105 (range, 25.0 to 435 mg/kg dw), respectively. This screening study provides us with concentration data for the occurrence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and four heavy metals in soil samples from the city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and considering that soil is an important pathway of exposure for people, a biomonitoring program for the surveillance of the general population in the city of San Luis Potosi is necessary.


DDE Heavy metals México PBDEs PCBs POPs 



This work was financed by a grant from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico, SSA/IMSS/ISSSTE-CONACYT-2013-01-202013. The authors would like to thank Miss Laura Carmen Martínez for helping with English editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Javier Perez-Vazquez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rogelio Flores-Ramirez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Angeles Catalina Ochoa-Martinez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sandra Teresa Orta-Garcia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Berenice Hernandez-Castro
    • 3
  • Leticia Carrizalez-Yañez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Iván N. Pérez-Maldonado
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Toxicología Molecular, Centro de Investigación Aplicada en Ambiente y Salud (CIAAS), Coordinación para la Innovación y Aplicación de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (CIACYT)Universidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico
  2. 2.Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Inmunología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico
  4. 4.Unidad Académica Multidisciplinaria Zona MediaUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico
  5. 5.San Luis PotosíMexico

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