Relationships between persistent organic pollutants and carbonaceous materials in aquatic sediments of Taiwan

Chin Chang Hung, Gwo Ching Gong, Fung Chi Ko, Hung Yu Chen, Min Lan Hsu, Jian Ming Wu, Sen Chueh Peng, Fan Hua Nan, Kevin M. Yeager, Peter H. Santschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that many persistent organic pollutants (POPs, e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and various pesticides), are strongly associated with carbonaceous materials (including organic carbon (OC) and black carbon (BC)). We hypothesize that carbonaceous materials can be used as a first-order pollution index, to indicate areas where POP pollution may require further investigation. We tested our hypothesis and found that strong, positive correlations between BC and OC contents versus the concentrations of PCBs (and PAHs) existed in estuarine sediments of the Danshui River in 2005 and 2008. Thus, our preliminary results demonstrate that POC and BC are potential indicators of the POP pollution potential in fluvial sediments of the Danshui River in Taiwan. This innovative approach can provide a simple, relatively inexpensive and expedient means to monitor concentrations of POPs in polluted aquatic sediments of Taiwan, and/or those having a legacy of POP inputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1017
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the comment of an anonymous reviewer who gave constructive comments that improved the paper. This research was supported by the National Research Council of Taiwan ( NSC95, 96-2611-M-019-001 , NSC97-2745-M-019-011 , NSC98-2628-M-019-011 , NSC96-2621-Z-019-011-MYZ ) and the Center for Marine Bioenvironment and Biotechnology (CMBB) at NTOU and Sinotech Engineering Consultants, LTD .


  • Black carbon
  • PAH
  • PCB
  • POC
  • Pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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