In this study, agriculture soil in Taiwan has been sampled and analyzed to determine the background level of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/DF) in the agricultural and nature preserve areas. Another objective is to investigate relationship between soil characteristics and air deposition in Taiwan. The results indicate that in nature preserve areas the topsoil shows an extraordinary profile of PCDD/DF compared to that in the air deposition. The PCDD/DF levels of the low-contaminated agricultural soils are compatible with those of the nature preserves soils. However, in the highly-contaminated agricultural soils, there is an abrupt jump in their concentrations, 10-100 times higher. The overall I-TEQ values of the background topsoils range from 0.101 to 15.2 ng I-TEQ/kg. Near industrial/urban areas in Taiwan the PCDD/DF are slightly higher compared to those in the low concentration group. Typically, the PCDD/DF background values found in this survey fall in the 90% confidence interval and can thus, be deemed the background levels in Taiwan. Ninety-five percent of these data are below the European and American soil standard of 10 ng I-TEQ/kg d.w. The PCDD/DF profile with one neighborhood soil sample was shown no significant difference. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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