Temporal and spatial changes in persistent organic pollutants in Vietnamese coastal waters detected from plastic resin pellets

Plastic resin pellets collected at Minh Chau island and Ba Lat estuary between 2007 and 2014 in Vietnam were analyzed for dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). The study was carried out as part of the International Pellet Watch program for monitoring the global distribution of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Higher levels of DDTs compared to PCBs indicated agricultural inputs rather than industrial discharges in the region. Most POP concentrations on both beaches decreased over the period, with the exception of HCH isomers. Though the concentration of DDTs showed a drastic decline on both beaches between 2007/2008 and 2014, DDTs accounted for 60–80% of total DDTs, suggesting that there is still a fresh input of these chemicals in the region. This study strongly recommends further investigations to track temporal and spatial patterns of POP levels in the marine environment using plastic resin pellets.

Dung Quang Le, Hideshige Takada, Rei Yamashita and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 109, Issue 1, 15 August 2016, Pages 320–324

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