|dc.description.abstract||Pollution assessment is worldwide generally performed based on ‘Trend assessment’ or ‘Status assessment´, and usually requires monitoring programs that should be designed in terms of pollutants to be studied, frequency and locations.
Five groups of pollutants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and trace metals, were selected to evaluate how actual monitoring programs are coping with the evaluation of anthropogenic activities affect the environment and whether use restrictions and laws that ban certain pollutants are being effective.
Santander Bay, in Northern Spain, is an industrial area with 250,000 inhabitants and with several rivers discharging into the Bay; those characteristics made the area an adequate location to perform the study. Marine sediment was selected as the study matrix since it gives comprehensive information regarding the human activities in coastal areas.
The study clearly shows that there can be some potential biological impacts on the marine environment due to PAHs (mainly BghiP), PCBs (mainly congener CB118) and metals. On the other hand all analysed OCPs and PBDEs presented values below the applicable guidelines and will therefore, in principle, not give rise to environmental problems. Consequently, even after decades of banning and use restrictions, the studied pollutants are still a main issue in coastal areas. Moreover, the present study helps in the definition of future monitoring programs providing a complete description about the current situation of the listed pollutants.||en