Residues of selected polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and organochlorine pesticides (OCP) in postmortem lungs from Epirus, northwestern Greece.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), including hexaclorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and DDTs, as well as trace elements were determined in soil and vegetation samples collected from the surrounding area of the landfill "Tagarades", the biggest in northern Greece, following a large scale fire involving approximately 50,000 tons of municipal waste. High concentrations of total PAHs, PCBs and heavy metals were found inside the landfill (1475 microg kg(-1) dw, 399 microg kg(-1) dw and 29.8 mg kg(-1) dw, respectively), whereas concentrations in the surrounding soils were by far lower ranging between 11.2-28.1 microg kg(-1) dw for PAHs, 4.02-11.2 microg kg(-1) dw for PCBs and 575-1207 mg kg(-1) dw for heavy metals. The distribution of HCHs and DDTs were quite different since certain soils exhibited equal or higher concentrations than the landfill. In vegetation, the concentrations of PAHs, PCBs, HCHs and DDTs ranged from 14.1-34.7, 3.64-25.9, 1.41-32.1 and 0.61-4.03 microg kg(-1) dw, respectively, while those of heavy metals from 81 to 159 mg kg(-1) dw. The results of the study indicated soil and vegetation pollution levels in the surroundings of the landfill comparable to those reported for other Greek locations. The impact from the landfill fire was not evident partially due to the presence of recent and past inputs from other activities (agriculture, vehicular transport, earlier landfill fires).