Organochloro pesticides

Organochloro hydrocarbons with insecticidal properties

The development and production of organochloro pesticides began already in the first half of the last century. Compounds like DDT, pentachlorophenol, hexachlorobenzene, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin and chlorophen were extensively used as plant protection products and pesticides all over the world. In the mid 1950s their negative properties became evident, e.g. their persistence and their high potetial for bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Moreover, some compounds are suspected to be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptive. As a consequence many industrial countries banned or restricted the use of organochloro pesticides in the 1970s.
A worldwide ban or restriction of the most hazardous organochloro pesticides followed when the Stockholm Convention and its amendment became effective in 2004 and 2009, respectively.


Hexachlorobenzene Fungicide which was mainly used in seed treatment and as wood and timber preservative
Octachlorostyrene Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chlorinated organochlorine compound
Dieldrin Very effective insecticide that was widely used as contact and stomach poison for soil insects like termites, grasshoppers and beetles and for textile pests until the early 1970s
Pentachlorophenol Persistent chlorinated hydrocarbon and effective biocide


Zebra mussel Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Suspended particulate matter Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
Eelpout As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
Herring gull Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.
Roe deer, one-year-old The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
Feral pigeon A pigeon species home in nearly every city.
Earthworm (Aporrectodea longa) As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
Soil Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.
Students Student groups with an even number of female and male students at the age of 20 to 29.

Sampling area

BR/NP Berchtesgaden The only high mountains national park in Germany and an area of the Limestone Alps with international relevance
Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
Rhein Longest river in Germany
NP Bayerischer Wald Germany's first national park
NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.
Elbe Fourth largest river basin in Central Europe
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
NP Harz Germany's largest forest national park
Solling Second highest and largest low mountain range in Northern Germany
BR Pfälzerwald Germany's largest connected forest area in a range of low mountains
Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin
Donau Second largest river in Europe
Sampling sites (humans) 4 university cities as sampling areas.

Sampling period

1982 - 2019