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Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2013

Spatial distribution of lindane concentration in topsoil across France


Lindane [gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH)] is an organochlorine pesticide with toxic effects on humans. It is bioaccumulative and can remain in soils for long periods, and although its use for crop spraying was banned in France in 1998, it is possible that residues from before this time remain in the soil. The RMQS soil monitoring network consists of soil samples from 2200 sites on a 16 km regular grid across France, collected between 2002 and 2009. We use 726 measurements of the Lindane concentration in these samples to (i) investigate the main explanatory factors for its spatial distribution across France, and (ii) map this distribution. Geostatistics provides an appropriate framework to analyze our spatial dataset, though two issues regarding the data are worth special consideration: first, the harmonization of two subsets of the data (which were analyzed using different measurement processes), and second, the large proportion of data from one of these subsets that fell below a limit of quantification. We deal with these issues using recent methodological developments in geostatistics. Results demonstrate the importance of land use and rainfall for explaining part of the variability of Lindane across France: land use due to the past direct input of Lindane on cropland and its subsequent persistence in the soil, and rainfall due to the re-deposition of volatilized Lindane. Maps show the concentrations to be generally largest in the north and northwest of France, areas of more intensive agricultural land. We also compare levels to some contamination thresholds taken from the literature, and present maps showing the probability of Lindane concentrations exceeding these thresholds across France. These maps could be used as guidelines for deciding which areas require further sampling before some possible remediation strategy could be applied. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Dates and versions

hal-01000802 , version 1 (04-06-2014)



Thomas T. Orton, Nicolas N. Saby, Dominique D. Arrouays, Claudy C. Jolivet, Estelle E. Villanneau, et al.. Spatial distribution of lindane concentration in topsoil across France. Science of the Total Environment, 2013, 443, pp.338-350. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.10.103⟩. ⟨hal-01000802⟩
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