Polychlorinated biphenyls in coastal tropical ecosystems: Distribution, fate and risk assessment
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) though banned still find use in most developing countries including Ghana. PCB congener residues in sediments in the coastal regions of Ghana were determined. Sediment samples (n=80) were collected between June 2008 and March 2009, extracted by the continuous soxhlet extraction using (1:1) hexane-acetone mixture for 24 h and analyzed with a CP 3800 gas chromatogram equipped with 65Ni electron capture detector (GC–ECD) and a mixed PCBs standard of the ICES 7 as marker, after clean-up. Validation of the efficiency and precision of the extraction and analytical methods were done by extracting samples spiked with 2 ppm ICES PCB standard and a certified reference material 1941b for marine sediments from NIST, USA, and analyzed alongside the samples. Total PCBs detected in sediments during the dry and wet seasons were, respectively, 127 and 112 μg/kg dry weight (dw), with a mean concentration of 120 μg/kg (dw). The composition of PCB homologues in the sediments were dominated by tri-, penta- and tetra-PCBs. There was no correlation between organic carbon (OC) of the sediments and total PCBs content. Risk assessments conducted on the levels indicated that PCB levels in sediments along the coastal region of Ghana poses no significant health risk to humans.
Read full paper https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2012.07.011