Contamination of phthalate esters, organochlorine pesticides and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta of China

Jianteng Sun, Lili Pana, Yu Zhana, Hainan Lu, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Wenxin Liu, Xilong Wang, Xiangdong Li, Lizhong Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


To reveal the pollution status associated with rapid urbanization and economic growth, extensive areas of agricultural soils (approximately 45,800 km2) in the Yangtze River Delta of China were investigated with respect to selected endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs), including phthalate esters (PAEs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The residues of sum of 15 PAEs, sum of 15 OCPs and sum of 13 PBDEs were in the range of 167-9370 ng/g, 1.0-3520 ng/g, and <1.0-382 ng/g, respectively. The OCPs residuals originated from both historical usage and recent input. Agricultural plastic film was considered to be an important source of PAEs. Discharge from furniture industry was potential major source of PBDEs in this region. The selected pollutants showed quite different spatial distributions within the studied region. It is worth noting that much higher concentrations of the EDCs were found on the borders between Shanghai and the two neighboring provinces, where agriculture and industry developed rapidly in recent years. Contaminants from both agricultural and industrial activities made this area a pollution hotspot, which should arouse more stringent regulation to safeguard the environment and food security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-676
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Agricultural soils
  • Combined pollution
  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Phthalate esters
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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