Levels of PCDDs and PCDFs in Korean river sediments and their detection by biomarkers

Keon Sang Ryoo, Seong Oon Ko, Pyo Hong Yong, Jong Ha Choi, Sunghwan Cho, Yonggyun Kim, Jae Bae Yeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are a group of toxic halogenated aryl hydrocarbons inducing various physiological disorders against biological organisms. Here, we investigated their levels in sediment samples taken from 12 different rivers in Korea. The levels of PCDD/PCDFs in sediment samples were expressed as concentrations and international TEQ values. Among 17 PCDD/PCDFs selected as target compounds in this study, the 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDD and OCDD were found in all river sediments with significant variation in various congener profiles of PCDD/PCDFs in sediments. PCDD/PCDFs could be monitored by sensitive biomarkers using insect immune system. Out of 12 river sediment samples, the biomarkers reported four spots (up, middle, and down Singil sites and Ansan) as putative contamination areas. When comparing both chemical and biological monitoring results, two methods agreed three spots of Singil as contamination areas (above 10 ppt levels) as well as six river sediment samples as relatively less-contaminated areas, but differed in the results in Ansan and Miho, probably due to relative non-specificity of biomarkers. Despite some disparity between bio- and chemical monitoring results, the biomarkers can be recommended as a device warning the contamination of dioxins in the environment because of a fast and inexpensive detection method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarker
  • Korea
  • PCDDs
  • PCDFs
  • River
  • Sediment
  • Spodoptera exigua

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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