DDT in soil

Significantly higher DDT metabolite levels in soils from the former German Democratic Republic

The insecticide DDT was used widely in the former German Democratic Republic until 1984, whereas it was banned in the Federal Republic of Germany already in 1972. Until today these different using patterns are reflected in the environment. Accordingly, significantly higher p,p'-DDE concentrations are detected in soil samples from the sampling sites Revier Lutherstein and Leipzig, Rosental in the sampling area Dübener Heide as compared to all other sites. There is, however, a decline between 2002 and 2010.

At most sites DDE decreases with depth because leaching of the highly adsorptive DDE is very limited. The only exception is sampling site Leipzig, Rosental where DDE is more or less evenly distributed throughout all soil horizons. This site is characterized by alluvial soil which is formed by sedimentation of suspended material and thus differs from grown soils.

p,p'-DDE in the organic layer/root network of soils
Fig. 1: p,p'-DDE in the organic layer/root network of soils Zoom in

 

p,p'-DDE in samples of topsoil (A-horizon)
Fig. 2: p,p'-DDE in samples of topsoil (A-horizon) Zoom in

 

p,p'-DDE in samples of subsoil (B-horizon)
Fig. 3: p,p'-DDE in samples of subsoil (B-horizon) Zoom in

Recommended profiles

Specimen

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.

Analytes

p,p'-DDE DDE is the main metabolite of DDT. It is even more persistent than the parent compound and is strongly accumulated by organisms. It is suspected to be carcinogenic, mutagenic and to act as endocrine disruptor.

Sampling area

Leipzig, Rosental Park area in the centre of Leipzig city
Revier Lutherstein The sampling site Revier Lutherstein is located in a forestal area at an altitude of 180 m.
Wimbachtal The sampling site Wimbachtal is located in a high valley at an altitude of 1100 m.
Naturdenkmal Stempelsbuche The sampling site Naturdenkmal Stempelsbuche is located in a spruce forest within the catchment area of the upper Ilse river at an altitude of 640 m.
Friedrichshäuser Bruch The sampling site Friedrichshäuser Bruch is located in the forest district Sievershausen at an altitude of about 500 m.
Edersberg The sampling site Edersberg is located in a mixed forest at an altitude of about 410 m.
Großpalmberg The sampling site Großpalmberg is located in a mixed forest at an altitude of about 500 m.
SB-Staden The sampling site SB-Staden is located in a floodplain between the Saar and the city of Saarbrücken.
Warndt 2 The sampling site Warndt 2 is located in the forest district Warndtweiher at an altitude of 247 m.
Oberes Steinbachtal Landscaped formed by mining
Forellenbuchet The sampling site Forellenbuchet is located in the core zone of the National Park Bayerischer Wald at an altitude of 1000 m.