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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Structure-related distribution of PCDD/Fs, PCBs and HCB in a river–sea system

Josefsson, Sarah; Karlsson, O. Magnus; Malmaeus, J. Mikael; Cornelissen, Gerard; Wiberg, Karin


Water concentrations of PCDD/Fs, HCB, and non-ortho, mono-ortho, and non-dioxin-like PCBs were measured four times during 1 year in a coastal area of the Baltic Sea, to investigate background levels and distribution behaviour. Sampling sites included two rivers, an estuary, and the sea. Particulate and apparently dissolved concentrations were determined using active sampling (filters + PUFs), while freely dissolved concentrations were determined using passive sampling (POM-samplers). The distribution between particulate + colloidal and freely dissolved phases, in the form of TOC-normalized distribution ratios (K(roc)), was found to be near or at equilibrium. The observed Kroc were not significantly different between sampling sites or seasons. For PCDD/Fs, the concentrations were significantly correlated to suspended particulate matter (SPM), while no correlation to organic carbon (TOC) was observed. In the estuary and the sea, PCB concentrations were correlated to TOC. The sorption of various congeners to SPM and TOC appeared to be related to both hydrophobicity and 3D-structure. The PCDD/F concentration in the sea decreased to one third in May, likely connected to the increased vertical flux of particles during the spring bloom. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Organic carbon; Particulate matter; HOC; Spring bloom; Baltic Sea

Published in

2011, Volume: 83, number: 2, pages: 85-94

    SLU Authors

    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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