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PAHs, PCBs, PCNs, organochlorine pesticides, synthetic musks and polychlorinated n-alkanes in UK sewage sludge: survey results and implications.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Joanna L. Stevens
  • Grant L. Northcott
  • Gary A. Stern
  • Gregg T. Tomy
  • Kevin C. Jones
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Technology
Number of pages6
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A survey of the digested sludge from 14 U.K. wastewater treatment plants was carried out to obtain contemporary U.K. data on the concentrations of certain classes of persistent organic compounds for which data are scarce and to assess whether U.K. sludge was likely to comply with the sludge limits for PCBs and PAHs proposed by the European Union. Total PAH (24 compounds) concentrations ranged from 67 to 370 mg/kg dw, in line with data from other countries; all the samples would exceed the proposed EU limit. Total PCB concentrations were 110−440 μg/kg dw, well below the proposed EU limit. Total PCN concentrations ranged from 50 to 190 μg/kg. Total synthetic musk concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 86 mg/kg dw; there were a few very high concentrations of HHCB and AHTN in the samples. Total concentrations of the short- and medium-chained polychlorinated alkanes ranged between 7 and 200 mg/kg and between 30 and 9700 mg/kg, respectively. These very high concentrations are indicative of chemicals with numerous and ongoing diffuse sources