Sediment cores from Xingyun Lake close to the pulp mill region of Jiangchuan (China), earlier found to be highly contaminated by pulping at least from the 1990s, were analyzed by HRGC/HRMS for the concentrations of 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Regarding the contribution of individual congeners, PCDD/F levels ranged from ND (non-detectable) to 82.05 pg g-1 dw (from ND to 0.16 pg WHO-TEQ g−1 dw) in 0–20 cm of sediment and from ND to 45.61 pg g-1 dw (from ND to 0.67 WHO-TEQ g−1 dw) in 20–40 cm of sediment for 17 PCDD/Fs (WHO-TEQ: WHO-endorsed toxic equivalents). Major PCDD/Fs identified and confirmed were high-chlorinated congeners including OCDD/Fs and HpCDD/Fs in the two depths. For high-chlorinated PCDD/Fs such as O, Hp-CDD/Fs across the depth of sediment, sediment had a higher proportion in 0–20 cm than that in 20–40 cm. On the contrary, for low-chlorinated PCDD/Fs such as T, Pe, Hx-CDD/Fs, the lower proportion was found in 0–20 cm. The results demonstrated that PCDD/Fs loads in the sediment of Xingyun Lake were very low compared to loads in the other regions about 8 years after closedown of a majority of pulp production with chlorine, which indicated that pulp production was an important emission source of dioxins.

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