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Atmospheric polychlorinated biphenyls in Indian cities: levels, emission sources and toxicity equivalents

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Paromita Chakraborty
  • Gan Zhang
  • Sabine Eckhardt
  • Jun Li
  • Knut Breivik
  • Paul K.S. Lam
  • Shinsuke Tanabe
  • Kevin C. Jones
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Pollution
Number of pages8
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Atmospheric concentration of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured on diurnal basis by active air sampling during Dec 2006 to Feb 2007 in seven major cities from the northern (New Delhi and Agra), eastern (Kolkata), western (Mumbai and Goa) and southern (Chennai and Bangalore) parts of India. Average concentration of Σ25PCBs in the Indian atmosphere was 4460 (±2200) pg/m−3 with a dominance of congeners with 4–7 chlorine atoms. Model results (HYSPLIT, FLEXPART) indicate that the source areas are likely confined to local or regional proximity. Results from the FLEXPART model show that existing emission inventories cannot explain the high concentrations observed for PCB-28. Electronic waste, ship breaking activities and dumped solid waste are attributed as the possible sources of PCBs in India. Σ25PCB concentrations for each city showed significant linear correlation with Toxicity equivalence (TEQ) and Neurotoxic equivalence (NEQ) values.