Evidence for the presence of a wide spread PCDD source in coastal sediments and soils from Queensland, Australia.
Recent studies have demonstrated the occurrence of elevated levels of higher chlorinated PCDDs in the coastal environment of Queensland, Australia. This study presents new data for OCDD contamination and full PCDD/F profile analysis in the environment of Queensland. Marine sediments, irrigation drain sediments and topsoil were collected from sites that were expected to be influenced by specific land-use types. High OCDD concentrations were associated mainly with sediments collected near the mouth of rivers which drain into large catchments in the tropical and subtropical regions. Further, analysis of sediments from irrigation drains could be clearly differentiated on the basis of OCDD contamination, with high concentrations in samples from sugarcane drains collected from coastal regions, and low concentrations in drain sediments from drier inland cotton growing areas. PCDD/F congener-specific analysis demonstrated almost identical congener profiles in all samples collected along the coastline. This indicates the source to be widespread. Profiles were dominated by higher chlorinated PCDDs, in particular OCDD whereas 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDFs were below the limit of quantification in the majority of samples. The full PCDD/F profile analysis of samples strongly resemble those reported for lake sediments from Mississippi and kaolinite samples from Germany. Strong similarities to these samples with respect to congener profiles and isomer patterns may indicate the presence of a similar source and/or formation process that is yet unidentified.
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY