Emissions and Distribution of Hexachlorocyclohexanes in the Rhine Basin Area in the 1980s and Prognoses for 1990-2020

Verschoor, A. (1992). Emissions and Distribution of Hexachlorocyclohexanes in the Rhine Basin Area in the 1980s and Prognoses for 1990-2020. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-92-031

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The Rhine Basin project, a cooperative study between the Dutch RIVM (National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection) and IIASA, analyzes sources of chemical pollution of the Rhine Basin in order to find relations between pollution and effects. This report deals with sources and distribution of an agricultural chemical: the pesticide lindane. Currently, more than 90% of the composition of lindane is the y-isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), but in the past other isomers were present in larger amounts. All the isomers of HCHs are treated in this report as one group.

In the 1980s about 300 tons of lindane were applied annually in the Rhine Basin. More than 90% of the use was for cereals, beet and maize. About 3.3% was applied to forest soils. Atmospheric deposition is substantial (4.8%). About 23 tons of HCH accumulates in the soil, and another 26 tons in surface waters. Volatilization and biodegradation in the soil are important processes that determine the fate of HCHs.

The effects of four scenarios on future HCH accumulation, erosion and emission to surface waters have been determined. Emissions to surface waters react relatively quickly to changes in lindane use. Levels of lindane in soils and the atmosphere react more slowly to changes in lindane use. A 10% reduction in pesticide use does not affect emissions or accumulation significantly, compared with unchanged pesticide use. Prohibition or a voluntary replacement of lindane by alternatives cause a considerable decrease in emissions to surface waters and accumulation in soils. However, even after a prohibition of lindane it has been calculated that it will take more than 4000 years to remove all the lindane residues from the soil.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Environmental Change & Development (ECD)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3667

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