Historical trends of organic pollutants in sediment cores from Hong Kong

S. WEI, Y. WANG, Chung Wah James LAM, Gene J. ZHENG, M. K. SO, Leo W.Y. YUENG, Y. HORII, L. Q. CHEN, Hongxia YU, N. YAMASHITA, Paul K.S. LAM

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of a wide range of trace organic contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the Hong Kong environment. These contaminants are potentially harmful to ecological systems, particularly in coastal areas. In this study, two sediment cores (4 m) were collected from southern waters of Hong Kong in 2004 to study the historical trends, distribution patterns, and potential sources of trace organic contaminants. DDTs (p,p′-DDT, o,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDD, o,p′-DDD and p,p′-DDE), hexachlorohexanes (HCHs) (α and γ), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and PCBs were detected in the samples, whereas other target compounds were all below detection limits. Many OCPs have not been produced or used for many years due to toxicological or environmental concerns and PCB use is prohibited in Hong Kong. However, some compounds were still detectable in recent years, and were found to be widely distributed in the environment, likely because of pollutant inputs from the highly industrialized Pearl River Delta region. These results provide important information on current and historical contamination in Hong Kong, and help to reconstruct the pollution history of these trace organic pollutants in Hong Kong coastal waters. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number6-12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Wei, S., Wang, Y., Lam, J. C. W., Zheng, G. J., So, M. K., Yueng, L. W. Y.., . . . Lam, P. K. S. (2008). Historical trends of organic pollutants in sediment cores from Hong Kong. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 57(6-12), 758-766. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.03.008


  • Sediment core
  • OCPs
  • PCBs
  • Historical trends
  • Hong Kong


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