Assessment of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) levels in soil samples near an electric capacitor manufacturing industry in Morelos, Mexico Article uri icon


  • In Mexico, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were principally used as heat transfer chemicals in electric transformers and capacitors as well as hydraulic fluids and lubricants in heavy electrical equipment since the early 1940s. However, although PCBs have been banned in Mexico, their past and present improper disposal has resulted in environmental contamination. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the PCBs levels in soil samples in the immediate area of an electric capacitor manufacturing industry, which was established several years ago in Alpuyeca, Morelos, Mexico. To confirm the presence of PCBs, surface soil samples (1-5 cm in depth) were collected from the vicinity of the industry. We determined the concentrations of 40 PCB congeners in soil samples using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The total PCBs levels in the soil samples ranged from 6.2 to 108460.6 g kg-1. Moreover, when we analyzed the results of the congeners (non-dioxin-like PCBs and dioxin-like PCBs), the levels of non-dioxin-like PCB congeners ranged from 5.7 to 103469 g kg-1 and the levels of dioxin-like PCB congeners ranged from 0.5 to 4992 g kg-1. Considering that soil is an important pathway of exposure in humans, analysis of PCBs levels in blood (as a biomarker of exposure) is necessary in individuals living in Alpuyeca, Morelos. © 2014 Copyright © Taylor %26amp; Francis Group, LLC.

publication date

  • 2014-01-01

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