Case study of PAHs, Me-PAHs, PCBs,Phthalates and Pesticides Contamination in the Somme River water, France

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Université Lille Nord de France, Equipe de Chimie Analytique et Marine, Laboratoire Géosystèmes (UMR 8217 CNRS), 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France


Surface waters, especially natural rivers always act as receiving waters for various kinds of
organic contaminants from municipal and industrial wastewaters, agricultural activities, organic chemicals in
use, non-point source pollutions. Due to their toxicity, persistency and wide diffusion, polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and their alkylated
homologues (Me-PAHs) are among the organic contaminants the most often monitored in the environment.
Determination of the contamination level is the crucial first step of environmental research. Field investigations
have clearly demonstrated their importance on various studies on the contamination levels, the origin, and
impact of contaminants in the aquatic ecosystems. The present paper is an effort on the field studies focusing
on persistent organic pollutants: PCBs, PAHs and Me-PAHs, phthalates and pesticides in Somme River water
located on Northern France. The sampling zone is characterized by fields of agriculture surrounding urbanized
and industrialized areas and constitutes a place embedded with strong fishing activities. However, the river
section of interest is also known for the high levels of PCB in sediments. The water were analyzed for 28
PCBs, 16 PAHs and 18 Me-PAHs, 6 phthalates and 28 pesticides with the aim to determine the dispersion
trend and the water quality of the sampled water.