This study comprehensively interprets the contamination status of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the soils from Benevento provincial territory, southern Italy, and its implications for environmental health by means of a systematic grid sampling method and geostatistics. The total concentrations of OCPs in the soils ranged from 0.058 to 16.9 ng/g, with a geometric mean (GM) of 0.72 ng/g and an arithmetic mean (AM) of 1.71 ng/g. The levels of OCPs were dominated by p,p′-DDE, p,p′-DDD, HCB, contributing together to 73.5% of the total OCPs. The higher levels of HCB, DDTs, and HCHs found in southwestern, central and east Benevento provincial territory, all occurring adjacent to landfill sites. The residues of OCPs in soil are largely ascribed to their historical use. The OCP inventories in soils of Benevento provincial territory ranged from 0.13 to 4.84 metric tons, with GM = 0.42 metric tons and AM = 0.44 metric tons. The soil is likely to be a sink for DDTs under the influence of regional air transport from pollution hotspots and has the potential to release other chemicals with a high vapor pressure, e.g., HCB, HCHs, and α-Endosulfan. And the mean level of the air-soil exchange flux of HCB, HCHs, and DDTs is estimated to be −1.59, −0.72, and 0.10 ng/m 2 /day respectively. The potential ecological and human health risks caused by OCPs in the soils are deemed essentially negligible in Benevento provincial territory.
Qu C.;Albanese S.
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