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The distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the River Thames catchment under the scenarios of climate change

Lu, Qiong; Johnson, Andrew C.; Juergens, Monika D.; Sweetman, Andy; Jin, Li; Whitehead, Paul. 2015 The distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the River Thames catchment under the scenarios of climate change. Science of the Total Environment, 533. 187-195. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.084

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Abstract/Summary

Measurements have shown low levels of PCBs in water but relatively high concentrations in the resident fish of the River Thames (UK). To better understand the distribution and behaviour of PCBs in the Thames river basin and their potential risks, a level III fugacity model was applied to selected PCB congeners (PCB 52, PCB 118 and PCB 153). The modelling results indicated that fish and sediments represent environmental compartments with the highest PCB concentrations; but the greatest mass of PCBs (over 70%) is likely to remain in the soil. As emissions decline, soil could then act as a significant secondary source of PCBs with the river bed-sediment functioning as a long-term reservoir of PCBs. The predicted changes in temperature and rainfall forecast in the UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) had only a modest influence on PCB fate in the model. The most significant result being a tendency for climate change to enhance the evaporation of PCBs from soil to air in Thames catchment.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.084
CEH Sections: Rees (from October 2014
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: PCBs, fugacity, River Thames, climate change, fish
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Chemistry
Date made live: 16 Jul 2015 13:55 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511323

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