Spatial distribution of lindane in topsoil of Northern France
Lindane is a persistent organochlorine insecticide and the use of this insecticide in agriculture was banned in France in 1998. In this study we investigated the concentrations of lindane in topsoil in Northern France and used robust geostatistics to map the geographical distribution of lindane. The study was based on a 16 km × 16 km grid covering an area of ca 25 000 km2. Lindane was found in all soils, even those from non-agricultural-application areas. Very low ratios of α-/γ-HCH and δ-/γ-HCH suggested that a long time had passed since technical HCH was used in the studied area, or that emission sources of lindane were still present. A strong gradient in lindane concentration was observed, with the highest lindane concentrations in an area located in the northern region. Results suggested that some of the lindane observed in the high concentration area may have come from volatilization of old lindane applied to intensively cultivated areas, which was then transported by prevailing winds coming from the south-west and deposited in a densely inhabited depression.