Spatial and temporal trends of polychlorinated biphenyls in water and sediment from Nairobi River, Kenya
Ndunda, Elizabeth N.
Wandiga, Shem O.
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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are chemicals that have become ubiquitous environmental pollutants due to their past use, persistence, and long-range transport thus requiring continuous monitoring. Therefore, this research was carried out to investigate spatial and temporal trends of seven indicator PCBs and two others (PCB 105 and PCB 156) in the Nairobi River. Levels of PCBs ranged from below detection limit (bdl) to 157.64 ± 1.52 ng g−1 and bdl to 718.78 ± 1.71 ng L−1 for sediment and water, respectively. PCBs 28, 138, and 153 were the most dominant contributing 33.4%, 17.9%, and 14.5% to the total PCBs in sediments and 54.6%, 19.3%, and 14.1% to the total PCBs in water. There was a general increase in ΣPCBs from 18.89 to 151.18 ng g−1 for sediments and 275.52 to 429.84 ng L−1 for water as the River flowed downstream. The dry season recorded the highest ΣPCB in sediments while the rainy season recorded the highest ΣPCBs in water, with levels exceeding the WHO water quality guidelines. Risk assessment revealed that populations living downstream are exposed to high levels of PCBs through the consumption of water. Levels of ΣPCBs downstream also exceeded the sediment quality guidelines meaning that aquatic organisms are threatened.
CitationNdunda, E.N., Wandiga, S.O. Spatial and temporal trends of polychlorinated biphenyls in water and sediment from Nairobi River, Kenya. Environ Monit Assess 192, 600 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-020-08566-x
University of Nairobi
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