Spatial monitoring of organohalogen compounds in surface water and sediments of a rural-urban river basin in Tanzania
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
The science of the total environment. - Amsterdam
, p. 186-197
University of Antwerp
The presence of persistent organic pollutants in Tanzanian environment is not well monitored despite the existing pollution potential from a number of sources. In this study, we investigated for the first time, the concentration profiles of different organohalogen compounds such as organochlorine pesticide residues (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in environmental samples (water and sediments) from the Pangani river basin (PRB). The PRB is one of the largest drainage basins in Tanzania, with its watershed exposed to multiple input sources of trace organic contaminants. Surface water and sediments were sampled from 12 representative stations of diverse characteristics and land-use practices, in three distinct seasons, and extracted by liquidliquid and Soxhlet extraction methods, respectively. Water samples were analyzed by GC-ECD for OCPs only, while sediment samples were analyzed for OCPs, PCBs and PBDEs by GC/MS. Seven compounds, dominated by HCH isomers (5104460 pg/L) and DDT analogs (1601460 pg/L),were detected in the water samples. These concentrations are far below the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality. A total of 42 compounds (8 OCPs, 28 PCB congeners and 6 PBDE congeners) were detected in the sediment samples. Their respective total concentration ranges were 24510,230; 35711,000 and 382175 pg/g dry weight. The spatial distribution patterns and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis reflected the impact of historical agricultural usage in sugarcane plantations (OCPs), and urbanization (PCBs and PBDEs). Risk assessment using sediment quality guidelines indicated no ecotoxicological risks. The results we have found provide preliminary data on levels of the organic contaminants in Pangani river basin as a new insight on the environmental quality of the area.