Surface soils from an industrial base, the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan urban agglomeration in central China were analyzed for 2378-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). The PCDD/F concentrations ranged from 268 to 7510 pg g(-1) dry weight (dw), 72% of which were above the U.S. guideline value (1000 pg g(-1)). It was found that octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) was the most dominant congener accounting for 78.4-99.3% of the total PCDD/Fs, which was consistent with the PCDD/F profiles reported in other Asian countries. It is recommended that the four major sources of PCDD/Fs in the region can be diesel-fuel vehicles, open straw burning, mass burn-water wall (MB-WW), pentachlorophenate (PCP)/PCP-Na and boilers-hazardous waste incineration. This study is one of the few studies with a focus on the PCDD/F pollution in central China, providing evidences for establishing priorities in reduction of ecological risks posed by PCDD/Fs in central China and elsewhere. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.