Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans pollution in China: Sources, environmental levels and potential human health impacts

Gene J. Zheng, Anna Oi Wah LEUNG, Li Ping Jiao, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review represents an assessment of the pollution status of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in China (the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan). During the past decades, seven PCDD/Fs pollution hotspots have been found: (a). Ya-er Lake, Hubei Province, with 'total PCDD/Fs' level reaching 177,427 pg g- 1 (dry weight) in lake sediments; (b). Chinese Schistosomiasis affected areas of Jiangxi Province with 33,660 pg g- 1 in soil; (c). e-waste recycling area of Yangtze River Delta, with 2726 pg g- 1 in paddy soil; (d). e-waste recycling area of Guiyu (eastern part of Guangdong Province), with 967,500 pg g- 1 in mixture of burnt residue and soil (the highest level among all hotspots); (e). Pearl River Delta with 2630 pg g- 1 in coastal sediment. (f). Kwun Tong, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong with 10,999 pg g- 1 in coastal sediment; and (g). southern Taiwan with 606,000 pg g- 1 in soil near the vicinity of a pentachlorophenol manufacturing factory. The main sources of PCDD/Fs in China were formed from impurities during the production of polychlorophenol, hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls, organic chlorinated pesticide and triclosan. In addition, sources of PCDD/Fs included municipal waste incineration, mineral fuel usage, open burning of electronic waste and crop residues, industrial waste discharge and vehicle exhaust emission. Due to potential human health risks from long-term exposure to PCDD/Fs at these hotspots, body loadings of these contaminants should be monitored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1061
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental International
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • China: mainland
  • Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • Incineration
  • PCDD/Fs
  • Polychlorophenols
  • Schistosomiasis

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