Retrospective Monitoring of PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs in Pine- and Spruce-Shoots - Results from the German Environmental Specimen Bank

2004, Journals

Rappolder, Marianne; Schröter-Kermani, Christa; Waller, Ulrich; Koerner, Wolfgang
Organohalogen Compounds 66 (2004), 1842 - 1847


Several recent studies confirm that persistent organic pollutants from ambient air accumulate in plants. Thus, plants play an important role in the entry of such compounds into the terrestrial food chain. Time series from the beginning of the 1990s show a declining trend for PCDD/Fs in ambient air and deposition samples in Germany, particularly in wintertime, but this decrease has leveled off since approximately 1994. However there is a lack of consistent and comparable data for time series and spatial distribution in plants. Especially conifers serve as a biomonitoring system to determine ambient air concentrations and the accumulation in plants during the time of exposure. Also, only little is known about the concentrations of dioxin-like PCBs and the relationship between them and PCDD/Fs and indicator PCBs. Therefore archived samples of the German environmental specimen bank (ESB) were used for retrospective monitoring in plants.

The German ESB was established in 1985 as a permanent institution for the systematic collection, processing, characterization and storage of environmental samples from marine, fresh water and terrestrial ecosystems as well as human samples.

The aim of the present study was to determine the level and the time trend of PCDDs, PCDFs, dioxin-like PCBs and indicator PCBs in conifer shoots from 1985 to 2003 and to compare the findings with results of the German Dioxin Database.

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