Soil burden by persistent organochlorine compounds in the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant in Croatia: a comparison study with an urban-industrialized area.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019; 26(23):23707-23716ES
The impact of a coal-fired Plomin Power Plant (PPP) in Croatia on PCB soil burden was examined by comparing the occurrence, levels, and profile of PCBs in soil from the PPP with the values determined in urban-industrialized soil (Varaždin, Croatia). Soil burden by organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were also investigated at both locations. Topsoil samples were collected at five distances (100-800 m) along a downwind pollution gradient from the PPP and across the city. The total content of PCBs in 100-m soil was nearly 20-fold the levels found in 800-m soil, which pointed to the PPP as a local source of soil contamination. The PPP soils were dominated by indicator PCB congeners, particularly hexa-homologs. A different profile and mass fraction range of PCBs in soils from PPP and Varaždin area indicated the different sources of contamination. Levels of total PCBs in PPP soils (0.25-19.07 μg kg-1) were higher than PCB levels determined in soils from Varaždin (0.29-5.52 μg kg-1), partially as a result of higher OC content in PPP soils. PPP soil burden by PCBs corresponded to a lower end of PCB level ranges reported for cities with high population and heavy industry. OCPs were detected at significantly higher levels in Varaždin soils than in PPP soils, with the highest contribution of the DDT-like compounds (DDX) detected in soils affected by river deposits. The p,p'-DDE/p,p'-DDT ratio in Varaždin soils indicated a fresh atmospheric input of p,p'-DDT. The PPP soil analysis detected a presence of only p,p'-DDE and HCB at levels corresponding to their global environmental presence.