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Behavior of organic pollutants in Arctic sediments

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Description: Through the process of global distillation, persistent organic pollutants naturally concentrate in higher latitude regions. Non-trivial amounts of these persistent organic pollutants (POPs) accumulating in these regions can be acutely toxic and pose risks to the well-being of humans and higher trophic level species through the progression of biomagnification. Although controlled laboratory studies have provided insight into the mechanisms and rates of POP degradation, no attention has been given to characterizing POP abiotic degradation pathways in sediment matrices of extreme Arctic environments. The behavior of certain POPs, such as carbon tetrachloride, tetrachloroethylene, 2-chloroacetophenone, and other persistent organic pollutants was studied to examine potential reduction-oxidation chemistry that could occur within the sediment. Degradation of POPs was observed in six Alaskan sediments. Degradation was a function of sediment characteristics, such as metal content and reducing capacity.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work