Six wildlife species of amphibians, fish and birds were sampled and screened for organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) in a paddy field in Yangtze River Delta, China. High contaminations of chlorinated paraffins were found particularly in terrestrial species. A novel pattern of PCBs with relatively high contribution from octa-CBs to decaCB was observed. A new group of OHCs, with 5–8 chlorines, were found but are not yet structurally confirmed. DDTs was the major organochlorine pesticide contaminant in wildlife. The results show an extensive contamination of OHCs in wildlife in Yangtze River Delta, calling for further (eco)toxicology study and environmental monitoring.



The environmental and human health concerns for organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) extend beyond the 23 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) regulated by the Stockholm Convention. The current, intense industrial production and use of chemicals in China and their bioaccumulation makes Chinese wildlife highly suitable for the assessment of legacy, novel and emerging environmental pollutants. In the present study, six species of amphibians, fish and birds were sampled from paddy fields in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) were screened for OHCs. Some extensive contamination was found, both regarding number and concentrations of the analytes, among the species assessed. High concentrations of chlorinated paraffins were found in the snake, Short-tailed mamushi (range of 200–340 μg g1 lw), Peregrine falcon (8–59 μg g− 1 lw) and Asiatic toad (97 μg g1 lw). Novel contaminants and patterns were observed; octaCBs to decaCB made up 20% of the total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) content in the samples and new OHCs, substituted with 5–8 chlorines, were found but are not yet structurally confirmed. In addition, Dechlorane 602 (DDC-DBF) and numerous other OHCs (DDTs, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexbromocyclododecane (HBCDD), chlordane, heptachlor, endosulfan and Mirex) were found in all species analyzed. These data show extensive chemical contamination of wildlife in the YRD with a suite of OHCs with both known and unknown toxicities, calling for further in-depth studies.



Zhou, Y., Asplund, L., Yin, G., Athanassiadis, I., Wideqvist, U., Bignert, A., … & Bergman, Å. (2016). Extensive organohalogen contamination in wildlife from a site in the Yangtze River Delta. Science of The Total Environment,554, 320-328. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.176