Information on temporal distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the coastal sediments of Mediterranean Sea, Mersin was compiled using data published between 1980 and 2009, and the present study. The first congener specific PCB results from the region yield concentration levels of Sigma(41) PCBs in sediments ranging from 0.61 to 1.04 ng g(-1). Sediment profiles show penta-, hexa- and hepta-chlorobiphenyls, specifically, #149 and 153 as the most abundant congeners in all samples. Comparison of total PCB concentrations over time suggests no recent PCB input to the region. Using congener specific PCB data for the region, identity and contribution of PCB sources were also predicted using a chemical mass balance -based (CMB) receptor model. The CMB model identified Aroclor 1260 to be the major PCB source in coastal sediments. The potential sources for the PCBs were briefly discussed in terms of their use in various industrial applications. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.