Organochlorine pesticides were heavily used from the mid-1940s to the mid-1980s. The persistence of organochlorine pesticides, their tendency to accumulate in soil, sediment, and biota, and their harmful effects on wildlife brought this class of compounds into disfavor and eventually resulted in restriction or cancellation of most of them in the United States (Nowell and others, 1999). Despite use restrictions, these compounds continue to be detected in sediment and fish tissue samples.
This study was undertaken as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The NAWQA program assesses watersheds as integrated systems, focusing on chemical concentrations, physical conditions, and biological status in streams. One component of NAWQA is an occurrence survey of organic contaminants and trace elements in stream bed sediment and fish tissue.
The goal of the Oahu stream bed sediment and fish tissue occurrence survey was to determine which organochlorine contaminants are present in streams around the island, and with which land uses they are associated. An understanding of relations between land use and organochlorine compounds will allow land management practices to be designed to reduce the loading of contaminants to streams and nearshore waters.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Occurrence of Organochlorine Pesticides in Stream Bed Sediment and Fish From Selected Streams on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, 1998