Water Pollution: Organic Compounds in the Charles River, Boston

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Science  13 Oct 1972:
Vol. 178, Issue 4057, pp. 158-160
DOI: 10.1126/science.178.4057.158


The major lipophilic organic compounds present in water collected during November and December 1971 from the Charles River Basin (Boston) are as follows: normal alkanes (C15 to C31), alkyl naphthalenes, alkyl anthracenes or phenanthrenes, pyrene, fluoranthene, dibutyl phthalate, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. The concentration of the naphthalenes (determined by liquid chromatography) correlates with the effective storm-water runoff content of the river. These data suggest a multiplicity of sources ranging from indigenous biological materials to automobile exhaust condensate.