Altitude-dependent accumulation of short chain chlorinated paraffins in fish from alpine lakes and Lhasa river on the Tibetan Plateau.


School of Environment and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Health, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China. Electronic address: [Email]


High mountain cold-trapping effects can play important roles in the global long-range transport of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) have recently been included into the Stockholm Convention as a new class of POPs. However, the long-range transport behavior and environmental fate of SCCPs still remain largely unknown in high-altitude mountain areas. In this study, a total of 51 fish samples were collected from five high-altitude mountain lakes and Lasha river across the Tibetan Plateau. SCCPs were positively detected in all fish samples, and the concentrations ranged from 3.9 to 107 ng g-1 dry weight (dw) with an average of 26.6 ng g-1 dw. Compared to aquatic organisms from the Artic and Antarctica, the SCCP levels found in alpine fish from the Tibetan Plateau were lower. A significant increasing trend in accumulation levels of SCCPs in alpine fish with the increasing altitude was found on the Tibetan Plateau (r = 0.98, p < 0.001). Shorter chain congener group C10 showed a significant increase in percentage contribution to total SCCPs with increasing altitude, but a contrary tendency was found for longer chain congener group C13. The widespread occurrence of SCCPs in Tibetan fish was mainly sourced from the long-range atmospheric transport, and the altitude-dependent distribution of SCCPs was due to the mountain cold-trapping effects and potential susceptibility to bioaccumulation. To our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the altitude-dependent accumulation of SCCPs in biota in the polar environment.


Altitude-dependence,Bioaccumulation,Short chain chlorinated paraffins,The Tibetan Plateau,