Persistent Organic Pollutants and Heavy Metal Concentrations in Soil from the Metropolitan Area of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDE), and four heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, and lead) in outdoor surface soils (50 samples) collected from the metropolitan area of Monterrey in Mexico. Total PBDEs levels ranged from 1.80 to 127 μg/kg, with mean total PBDEs level of 14.2 ± 21.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation). For PCBs, the mean total level in the studied soils was 23.5 ± 20.2 μg/kg (range 4.0-65.5 μg/kg). An important finding in our study was that all soil samples (100 %25) had detectable levels of the metabolite p,p′-DDE. Moreover, the mean total DDT level (σp′p-DDT and p′p-DDE) was approximately 132 ± 175 μg/kg. The mean levels for arsenic, cadmium, and lead in soil were 5.30 ± 1.35 (range 1.55-7.85) mg/kg, 2.20 ± 1.20 (range 0.65-6.40) mg/kg, and 455 ± 204 (range 224-1230) mg/kg, respectively. Our study has several limitations, the most notable of which is the small sample of soils evaluated. However, this screening study provided concentration data for the occurrence of POPs and four heavy metals in soil from the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and taking into consideration that soil is an important pathway of exposure for people, a biomonitoring program for the surveillance of the general population in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon is deemed necessary. © 2015 Springer Science%2bBusiness Media New York.

publication date

  • 2016-01-01