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Organochlorine pesticides in surface soils from obsolete pesticide dumping ground in Hyderabad City, Pakistan: contamination levels and their potential for air-soil exchange

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Ambreen Alamdar
  • Jabir Hussain Syed
  • Riffat Naseem Malik
  • Athanasios Katsoyiannis
  • Junwen Liu
  • Jun Li
  • Gan Zhang
  • Kevin C. Jones
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Science of the Total Environment
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)733-741
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study was conducted to examine organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) contamination levels in the surface soil and air samples together with air-soil exchange fluxes at an obsolete pesticide dumping ground and the associated areas from Hyderabad City, Pakistan. Among all the sampling sites, concentrations of OCPs in the soil and air samples were found highest in obsolete pesticide dumping ground, whereas dominant contaminants were dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDTs) (soil: 77-212,200 ng g(-1); air: 90,700 pg m(-3)) and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs) (soil: 43-4,090 ng g(-1); air: 97,400 pg m(-3)) followed by chlordane, heptachlor and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). OCPs diagnostic indicative ratios reflect historical use as well as fresh input in the study area. Moreover, the air and soil fugacity ratios (0.9-1.0) at the dumping ground reflecting a tendency towards net volatilization of OCPs, while at the other sampling sites, the fugacity ratios indicate in some cases deposition and in other cases volatilization. Elevated concentrations of DDTs and HCHs at pesticide dumping ground and its surroundings pose potential exposure risk to biological organisms, to the safety of agricultural products and to the human health. Our study thus emphasizes the need of spatio-temporal monitoring of OCPs at local and regional scale to assess and remediate the future adverse implications.