Trends in European background air reflect reductions in primary emissions of PCBs and PBDEs

Schuster, Jasmin K. and Gioia, Rosalinda and Breivik, Knut and Steinnes, Eiliv and Scheringer, Martin and Jones, Kevin C. (2010) Trends in European background air reflect reductions in primary emissions of PCBs and PBDEs. Environmental Science and Technology, 44 (17). pp. 6760-6766. ISSN 0013-936X

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Data are presented for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyls ethers (PBDEs) in passive air samplers (PAS) collected along a rural/remote latitudinal transect from southern UK to northern Norway during 2004-2008. This study is part of an ongoing campaign, using semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) as PAS over two year intervals since 1994. Absolute sequestered amounts of selected PCB congeners have decreased in a first order fashion between 1994-2008, with the average time of 8.4 ± 3.2 years for atmospheric concentrations to decline by 50%. PCBs have continued to fractionate with latitude during this period. PBDE concentrations declined by 50% between 2000 and 2008 every 2.2 ± 0.4 years. Results are discussed in terms of sources, long-range atmospheric transport, global fractionation, and clearance processes. It is concluded that the spatial and temporal trends in background European air mainly reflect the strength of primary diffusive emissions of these compounds and subsequently their ongoing declines. The direct evidence for this is similar rates of decline at all the sites; similar rates of decline for all congeners; no systematic change in the fractionation pattern since 1994. The latest results indicate a reduction in the rate of decline for PCBs (and hence in primary emissions).

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? general chemistryenvironmental chemistrychemistry(all) ??
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Deposited On:
14 Oct 2019 14:25
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 11:17