beta-HCH in bream from the river Mulde

Peak contamination after Elbe flood of 2002

beta-HCH is a by-product in the production of the insecticide lindane (gamma-HCH). It is very persistent and has a high potential for bioaccumulation and biomagnification. In the past beta-HCH was often disposed in an environmentally inadequate way on dumping grounds. This is probably the reason for soil contaminations near the main lindane-production site of the former GDR at Bitterfeld.
It is assumed that during earthworks and dike reconstructions following the Elbe flood of 2002, high quantities of beta-HCH were released from soils and dumping grounds around Bitterfeld and entered the river Mulde. The increasing Mulde-contamination is reflected in elevated levels of beta-HCH in bream since 2003 with peak concentrations in 2004.

beta-HCH in muscle of bream from the sampling site Mulde/Dessau
Fig. 1: beta-HCH in muscle of bream from the sampling site Mulde/Dessau Zoom in

 

Recommended profiles

Specimen

Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes

Analytes

Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons

Sampling area

Dübener Heide Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany