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A consideration of polychlorinated biphenyls as a chemostratigraphic marker of the Anthropocene

Gałuszka, A; Migaszewski, Z; Rose, N; (2020) A consideration of polychlorinated biphenyls as a chemostratigraphic marker of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Review (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organic pollutants of anthropogenic origin, were widely used in many industrial applications worldwide roughly from the 1930s to the 1970s. Both the use and disposal of PCBs contributed to their ubiquity in different environmental compartments and they show extremely high persistence because of their high physical and chemical stability. Concentrations of PCBs in environmental archives located in different parts of the world usually show an initial increase in the 1940s-1950s, and maxima in the 1960s–1970s followed by a sharp decline following the ban in their use. Thus, the increase in PCB concentrations would appear to be suitable as a chronostratigraphic marker in Anthropocene strata. This manuscript discusses the PCBs record in different environmental archives in the context of temporal and spatial trends in production and application of these compounds as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the use of PCBs in the chemostratigraphy of the Anthropocene series.

Type: Article
Title: A consideration of polychlorinated biphenyls as a chemostratigraphic marker of the Anthropocene
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/anr
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Anthropocene, chemostratigraphic marker, environmental archives, persistence, polychlorinated biphenyls
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094998
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