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The Llobregat pp 117-133 | Cite as

Occurrence of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Llobregat River Basin: An Overview

  • Daniel GuillénEmail author
  • Antoni Ginebreda
  • Ethel Eljarrat
  • Mira Petrovic
  • Damià Barceló
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 21)

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview about the occurrence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Llobregat River basin (NE Spain). This basin historically has received considerable amounts of contaminants from both urban and industrial origin as well as from agricultural holdings. Among these contaminants, POPs are ubiquitous compounds of great concern due to their high persistence in the environment, high bioaccumulative nature and adverse effects (toxicity, carcinogenic and mutagenic effects, etc.) on wildlife and humans. These persistent contaminants include compounds such as chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This overview has been complemented with a recent monitoring study carried out in the framework of the SCARCE project in which the occurrence of 52 POPs in sediment samples from Llobregat River basin has been evaluated. Concentrations were compared with two approaches derived from a consensus sediment quality guideline (SQG) in order to assess the chemical quality of the sediments along the basin. Finally, the toxic potency associated with PAHs exposure is also evaluated.

Keywords

Llobregat Organochlorinated pesticides Persistent organic pollutants Polyaromatic hydrocarbons Polychlorinated byphenyls Sediment quality 

Abbreviations and Symbols

ACA

Catalan Water Agency (Agència Catalana de l'Aigua)

BFRs

Brominated flame retardants

DDD

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

DDE

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene

DDT

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

DLC

Dioxin-like compounds

dw

Dry weight

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

EQC

Equilibrium criterion

EROD

Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase

EUSES

European Uniform System for the Evaluation of Substances

HCB

Hexachlorobenzene

HCHs

Hexachlorocyclohexanes

IARC

International Agency for Research on Cancer

OCPs

Organochlorinated pesticides

PAH

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls

PCDDs

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins

PCDFs

Polychlorinated dibenzofurans

PCNs

Polychlorinated naphthalenes

PEC

Probable effect concentration

POPs

Persistent organic pollutants

SQGs

Sediment quality guidelines

TCDD

Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

TEC

Threshold effect concentration

TEF

Toxicity equivalent factors

TEQ

Toxicity equivalent quantity

TOC

Total organic carbon

US EPA

United States Environmental Protection Agency

WWTP

Wastewater treatment plants

∑PAHs

Sum of total PAHs

∑PCBs

Sum of total PCBs

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Guillén
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antoni Ginebreda
    • 1
  • Ethel Eljarrat
    • 1
  • Mira Petrovic
    • 2
    • 3
  • Damià Barceló
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)GironaSpain
  3. 3.Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.King Saud University (KSU)RiyadhSaudi Arabia

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