Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including PAHs, PCBs, DDTs, and PBDEs, were measured in sediment collected from along the Taiwan coast and compared to previous studies. The dominant POPs were PAHs, followed by PCBs, PBDEs, and DDTs. The highest levels of PAHs and PCBs were found in sediment from harbors in southern Taiwan, which are surrounded by densely populated areas and affected by multiple industrial activities. In contrast, significantly higher levels of PBDEs were found at the northern coastline, which has a higher population and includes the metropolitan Taipei area. Using diagnostic PAH ratios, the predominant sources of PAHs in coastal Taiwan was determined to be pyrolytic-related activities. The main component of each POP was low- to moderately-chlorinated congeners, p,p′-DDE and BDE209, respectively. Further studies are required to assess the impact of these POPs on marine and coastal ecosystem.
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