Persistent Organic Pollutants in sediment and fish in the River Thames catchment (UK)

Lu, Qiong and Jürgens, Monika D. and Johnson, Andrew C. and Graf, Carola and Sweetman, Andrew James and Crosse, John David and Whitehead, Paul (2017) Persistent Organic Pollutants in sediment and fish in the River Thames catchment (UK). Science of the Total Environment, 576. pp. 78-84. ISSN 0048-9697

[thumbnail of Lu_SOTEN]
Lu_SOTEN.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (281kB)


Some organic pollutants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) have been banned from production and use in the UK for > 30 years but due to their toxicity and persistence are still of concern. However, due to their hydrophobicity they are present at very low concentrations and are difficult to measure in water, and so other matrices need to be sampled in order to best assess contamination. This study measured concentrations of ΣICES 7 PCBs (PCB congeners 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180) and Σ6 PBDEs (PBDE congeners 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154) and HCB in both bed-sediments and wild roach (a common pelagic fish) in the Thames Basin. The highest sediment concentrations were detected in an urbanised tributary of the Thames, The Cut at Bracknell (HCB: 0.03–0.40 μg/kg dw; ICES 7 PCBs: 4.83–7.42 μg/kg dw; 6 BDEs: 5.82–23.10 μg/kg dw). When concentrations were expressed on a dry weight basis, the fish were much more contaminated than the sediments, but when sediment concentrations were normalised to organic carbon concentration they were comparable to the fish lipid normalised concentrations. Thus, despite the variability in the system, both sediments and wild fish can be considered suitable for representing the level of POPs contamination of the river system given sufficient sample numbers.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of the Total Environment, 576, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.067
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 Nov 2016 11:16
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 01:25