Distribution profiles of selected organic pollutants in soils and sediments of industrial, residential and agricultural areas of South Africa
Borgen, Anders R.
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Currently very little data exists on the presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the South African environment. To address this data gap a preliminary study of a highly industrialised area of South Africa, the Vaal Triangle, was done. Soil and sediment samples from the Vaal Triangle, as well as other areas in central South Africa, were analysed with high resolution gas chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS) for the presence of PAHs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin-like chemicals and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Results showed that these chemicals are present in the South African environment with concentrations ranging between 39 000 ng g−1 for ΣPAHs and 0.01 ng g−1 for dicofol. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated different pollution sources in industrial and agricultural areas.