Evidence for Major Contributions of Unintentionally Produced PCBs in the Air of China : Implications for the National Source Inventory

Zhao, Shizhen and Jones, Kevin C and Li, Jun and Sweetman, Andrew J and Liu, Xin and Xu, Yue and Wang, Yan and Lin, Tian and Mao, Shuduan and Li, Kechang and Tang, Jiao and Zhang, Gan (2019) Evidence for Major Contributions of Unintentionally Produced PCBs in the Air of China : Implications for the National Source Inventory. Environmental Science and Technology, 54 (4). pp. 2163-2171. ISSN 0013-936X

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were not widely manufactured or used in China before they became the subject of international bans on production. Recent work has shown that they have reached China associated with imported wastes and that there are considerable unintentional sources of PCBs that have only recently been identified. As such, it was hypothesized that the source inventory and profile of PCBs may be different or unique in China, compared to countries where they were widely used and which have been widely studied. For the first time in this study, we undertook a complete analysis of 209 PCB congeners and assessed the contribution of unintentionally produced PCBs (UP-PCBs) in the atmosphere of China, using polyurethane foam passive air samplers (PUF-PAS) deployed across a wide range of Chinese locations. ∑209 PCBs ranged from 9 to 6856 pg/m3 (median: 95 pg/m3) during three deployments in 2016-2017. PCB 11 was one of the most detected congeners, contributing 33 ± 19% to ∑209 PCBs. The main sources to airborne PCBs in China were estimated and ranked as pigment/painting (34%), metallurgical industry/combustion (31%), e-waste (23%), and petrochemical/plastic industry (6%). For typical Aroclor-PCBs, e-waste sources were dominated (>50%). Results from our study indicate that UP-PCBs have become the controlling source in the atmosphere of China, and an effective control strategy is urgently needed to mitigate emissions from multiple industrial sources.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
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This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.9b06051
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?? environmental chemistrychemistry(all) ??
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12 Feb 2020 12:40
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19 Mar 2024 00:42