Assessment of organochlorine pesticide contamination in relation to soil properties in the Pearl River Delta, China.
High levels of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) such as hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) have been found in soil of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), attributable to high pesticide application in this area. Consequently, the occurrence and environmental effect of HCHs and DDTs in the PRD have attracted considerable attention. However, study focusing on the influence of potential factors such as soil property on the environmental fate of HCHs and DDTs in the PRD has been rare. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of soil physiochemical properties on the distribution patterns and fate of soil HCHs and DDTs on a large spatial scale. Levels of HCHs (sum of ?-, ?-, ?- and ?-HCH) and DDTs (sum of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (p,p-DDT), 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (p,p-DDD), and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p-DDE)) in 151 soil samples covering all areas of the PRD and physiochemical parameters related to soil properties including pH, total organic carbon (TOC), total Fe (TFe), DCB-Fe (DFe), amorphous-Fe (AFe), complexed-Fe (CFe), total Mn (TMn), DCB-Mn (DMn), amorphous-Mn (AMn), complexed-Mn (CMn) and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were determined. The residual levels of HCHs and DDTs in soils of the present study, which are mainly controlled by soil TOC and CFe content and varying spatially with land use types, may potentially pose ecological risk to plants and animals. On the other hand, transformation of soil HCHs may be affected by pH and DDT transformation correlated significantly with AFe and CFe. Currently, soil has become an important secondary source of OCPs and the re-emission potential of OCPs in soil was mainly affected by soil OCP concentrations and land use types.