Fate of PCB Congeners in an Industrial Harbor of Lake Michigan

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, The University of Iowa, 4105 Seamans Center, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 04/2010; 44(8):2803-8. DOI: 10.1021/es902911a
Source: PubMed


We have quantified the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) to Lake Michigan and the atmosphere. Navigational dredging is planned for this system, and there is concern that dredging will result in releases of PCBs. We have analyzed greater than 158 PCBs in surficial sediment, water, suspended particles, and air. We predicted the release of PCBs from sediments to water and from water to air. To quantify the level of confidence in our calculations, we used a Monte Carlo simulation for each congener flux. We determined that 4 +/- 0.05 kg of summation operatorPCBs were released from the sediment to the water and 7 +/- 0.1 kg of summation operatorPCBs were volatilized from the water to the air annually. We measured input from the upstream regions of the canal system of 45.0 kg yr(-1) and export to Lake Michigan of 43.9 kg yr(-1). The summation operatorPCBs mass balance accounts for nearly all the PCB inputs and losses to the navigational regions. The congener profiles in sediment, water, and air support our determination that the contaminated sediment is a major source of PCBs into the water and air above it. We have shown that the system is currently a significant source of PCBs to the air and to Lake Michigan, even under quiescent conditions.

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    • "Comparison between the congener profile distributions of the top and the bottom layers suggest that the less chlorinated congeners in the top layer are diffusing more rapidly into the overlying water than the more chlorinated compounds. This finding was also observed when fluxes from sediment to water were estimated (Martinez et al., 2010b). In addition, it is possible that aerobic and anaerobic microbial degradation might be occurring in this core (i.e. less low chlorinated congeners and more middle chlorinated congeners in the top layer, and more low chlorinated congeners and less middle chlorinated congeners in the bottom layer) (Borja et al., 2005) (Figure S8). "
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    ABSTRACT: Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) is an active navigational system that serves a heavily industrial area of southern Lake Michigan. We have determined the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), congener distributions, sorbent types and potential for dioxin-like PCB toxicity from two IHSC sediment cores. Vertical distributions of ΣPCBs (sum of 161 individual or coeluting congeners) ranged from 410 to 91000 and 1800 to 41000 ng g(-1) dry weight (d.w.) for cores 1 and 2, respectively. Core 1 showed its highest accumulation rate for the year ∼1979 and exhibits a strong Aroclor 1248 signal in sediments accumulating over the last 60 years. It appears that from the late 1930s until the beginning of the 1980s there was a large and constant input of PCBs into this system. This pattern differs from lake cores from the Great Lakes region which commonly exhibit a rapid increase, a peak, followed by a sharp decrease in the PCB accumulation rates. Core 2 also has a strong Aroclor 1248 signal in the top layers, but deeper layers show evidence of mixtures of Aroclors and/or weathering processes. High levels of black carbon as a fraction of total organic carbon were found in both cores (median ∼30%), which reflect the long history of local combustion sources. No strong relationship was found between ΣPCB concentration and sorbents. Both cores contain dioxin-like PCBs that are highest in concentration below the surface. The high levels of PCBs in the deep sediments are of concern because of plans to dredge this system.
    Chemosphere 09/2011; 85(3):542-7. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.08.018 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    • "Specifically, tri-CB (#28), tri-CB (#18), tetra-CB (#66), tetra-CB (#44), and tetra-CB (#52) were the most abundant congeners in the dissolved phase, while hexa-CB (#138), hexa-CB (#153), hexa-CB (#156), octa-CB (#194), and deca-CB (#209) were the most abundant congeners in the particulate phase in this study. Similar dissolved and particulate PCB congener distributions have been reported in many studies conducted in different locations (Moret et al., 2005; Manodori et al., 2006; Martinez et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) pollution in the surface water of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) was investigated. A total of 26 samples were collected from water bodies in three cities within the YRD during the dry season from October to November of 2009. The total PCBs (dissolved plus particulate) ranged from 1.23 to 16.6 ng L(-1) and were dominated by tri-, tetra-, and penta-chlorinated biphenyls. The mean PCBs in the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Yangtze River were 8.84 and 3.36 ng L(-1), respectively. A t-test showed that there were no significant differences in the concentration of samples from the metropolitan area and the development zone. According to the Chinese national environmental quality standards for surface water (GB 3838-2002), the concentrations of PCBs observed in this study do not pose a hazard to aquatic or human health. Overall, this study described the PCB concentration and homolog distribution patterns in one of the most rapidly developing areas in China, and the results can be used as reference levels for future PCB monitoring programs.
    Chemosphere 09/2011; 85(3):399-405. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.07.064 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The overall hypothesis of this research is that the use of passive samplers is an effective method to measure spatial and seasonal trends of atmospheric PCBs in an urban environment. In support of this, I extracted, analyzed and quantified congener specific concentrations from over 200 passive samples and over 200 active sampler, or Hi-Vols. I studied best practices for the use of methods to derive R-values and the application of R-values on mass accumulated on passive samplers for both indoor and outdoor air and found that indoor air uptake of PCBs was consistent over time and at different locations. I suggest that depuration compounds be used for outdoor sampling when using passive samplers for the most accurate measurement of effective sampling volume. I then applied these practices to passive samplers deployed in two major cities along the Great Lakes, Cleveland and Chicago. I found that these cities had different concentrations as well as different congener profiles. I compared toxicological equivalencies (TEQ) of the WHO dioxin-like PCBs between the two cities and discovered that although Cleveland had higher total PCB concentrations, it had a lower TEQ. I then compared spatial distributions and temporal trends between Hi-Vols and passive samplers and found that passive samplers were accurate at collecting spatial and seasonal trends when compared to Hi-vols, and were consistent at identifying hot-spots of atmospheric PCBs in Chicago. Finally, I developed an instrumental method to identify and quantify OH-PCBs from environmental samples to be used in future research involving the fate of atmospheric PCBs.
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