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Air-vegetation transfer of PCDD/PCDFs : an assessment of field data and implications for modeling.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Pollution
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)143-150
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study was designed to evaluate soil and air (gas and particle) transfer of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) to vegetation in residential and industrial areas. In a first part, soil-vegetation transfer was assessed. The levels of PCDD/Fs in 120 soil and 120 herbage samples collected from 1996 to 2002 in an industrial area of Montcada (Barcelona, Spain), near a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI), were determined. Some additional individual samples were also evaluated. It was concluded that high soil concentrations, which are not at steady state with the air layer above it, show a tendency for PCDD/Fs to escape via volatilization. In a second part of the study, air-vegetation transfer was examined. PCDD/F concentrations from 24 herbage samples were used, while PCDD/F concentrations were also measured in seven high-volume air samples and seven passive air-vapor samples. Scavenging coefficients (m3 air “sampled”/g grass d.m.) ranged from 1.9 to 11.3 m3/g. A good trend with KOA was observed for PCDDs (R = 0.82), while it was lower for PCDFs (R = 0.55). The current results corroborate that PCDD/F concentrations in vegetation are associated with atmospheric deposition. For the highest substituted PCDD/F congeners, the air-particle uptake from plants is the principal pathway. In regions impacted by combustion emission sources, PCDD/F gas–particle partitioning is influenced by a higher concentration of particles in the air. Particles and associated particle-bound PCDD/Fs would sorb to leaf surfaces, and are subject to removal via wash off. However, in areas where emissions to air are not very notable, vapor absorption would be the principal source of vegetation pollution. The results of this investigation can have a potential interest in risk assessment studies and environmental fate models. Soil and air transfer of PCDD/PCDFs to vegetation were evaluated in residential and industrial areas.