Atmospheric PCB Concentrations at Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica

University of Florence, Florens, Tuscany, Italy
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 12/2005; 39(24):9406-11. DOI: 10.1021/es0510921
Source: PubMed


Concentrations of gas-phase polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) were studied over an austral summer at a site in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. Gas-phase concentrations of individual PCB congeners in the atmosphere of Terra Nova Bay ranged from below the detection limit to 0.25 pg m(-3), with a mean concentration of sigmaPCB of 1.06 pg m(-3). The PCB profile was dominated by lower-chlorinated PCB congeners; in fact >78% of the total PCB content was due to congeners with 1-4 chlorine atoms and only about 10% with 5-7 chlorines, whereas higher-chlorinated PCB congeners were below detection limits. The mean sigmaPCB concentration obtained in this study were lower than those reported in previous Antarctic studies. Temporal concentration profiles of sigmaPCB do not correspond to seasonal temperature changes. In consideration of the low PCB concentrations observed, the studies with the wind roses, the regression between In P(PCB) and T(-1), and the distribution of congeners, we can hypothesize that PCB local source contributions are not very important, whereas long-distance transport is the prevalent factor bringing PCBs to Terra Nova Bay.

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    • "Over 90% of the total PCB content was due to congener with one to four chlorine atoms and only about 10% with five to seven chlorines, whereas higher chlorinated PCBs were below detection limits. In agreement with other studies, the results emphasized that the PCB profile was dominated by tri-CB and tetra-CB with relatively high contributions from mono- CB and di-CB (Gambaro et al., 2005). In addition, investigations on POP distribution in Antarctica were made by Ockenden at al. (2001b) which monitored the air for PCBs at two sites in the southern hemisphere, one over land and the other over water. "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jul 2011
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    • "Among the persistent organic pollutants (POPs), PCBs are of special environmental concern in Antarctica. Although long-range atmospheric transport from production and application regions has been reported as the most relevant source of these ubiquitous anthropogenic organic pollutants in Antarctica (Weber and Goerke 2003; Gambaro et al. 2005), the local anthropogenic effect can be also a relevant source of PCBs at scientific stations (Negri et al. 2006). Because PCBs can strongly accumulate in the higher members of the Antarctic food chain (United Nations Environment Programme Chemicals 2002), which is simpler and more susceptible to external stresses than those existing in other more complex environments from warmer regions, the local production of these compounds, although occurring at low rates, is of important environmental concern. "
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