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Field calibration of polyurethane foam disk passive air samplers for PCBs and OC pesticides.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Chakra Chaemfa
  • Jonathan L. Barber
  • Tilman Gocht
  • Tom Harner
  • Ivan Holoubek
  • Jana Klanova
  • Kevin C. Jones
Journal publication date12/2008
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Number of pages8
Original languageEnglish


Different passive air sampler (PAS) strategies have been developed for sampling in remote areas and for cost-effective simultaneous spatial mapping of POPs (persistent organic pollutants) over differing geographical scales. The polyurethane foam (PUF) disk-based PAS is probably the most widely used. In a PUF-based PAS, the PUF disk is generally mounted inside two stainless steel bowls to buffer the air flow to the disk and to shield it from precipitation and light. The field study described in this manuscript was conducted to: compare performance of 3 different designs of sampler; to further calibrate the sampler against the conventional active sampler; to derive more information on field-based uptake rates and equilibrium times of the samplers. Samplers were also deployed at different locations across the field site, and at different heights up a meteorological tower, to investigate the possible influence of sampler location. Samplers deployed <5 m above ground, and not directly sheltered from the wind gave similar uptake rates. Small differences in dimensions between the 3 designs of passive sampler chamber had no discernable effect on accumulation rates, allowing comparison with previously published data. Field studies have validated the use of chambers containing polyurethane-disks for passively sampling persistent organic pollutants in air.