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Atmospheric organochlorine pesticides in the western Canadian Arctic: evidence of transpacific transport

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2000
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


Concentrations of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), chlordane, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were measured in ambient air samples on a weekly basis between December 1992 and January 1995 at Tagish Yukon, Canada. In winter, unusually high air concentrations of HCHs, DDT, and chlordanes at Tagish were predominantly influenced by transpacific long-range atmospheric transport from eastern Asia that generally occurred within 5 days. HCH and heptachlor epoxide concentrations were correlated with the time that air spent over eastern Asia prior to arrival at Tagish. Chlordane and DDT, which also increase with transpacific transport, do not show a correlation with the time the upwind airshed included Asia as the composition of these pesticides in the atmosphere is affected by differences in usage patterns, application methods, variable composition of parent pesticides and metabolites in the soil, and rates of volatilization. Air masses originating from North America had the highest concentrations of HCHs and chlordanes when the 5-day upwind airshed included the western United States. Concentrations of HCHs may also be influenced by lindane usage in Canada.