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Field deployment of thin film passive samplers (POGs) for persistent organic pollutants (POPs): a study in the urban atmospheric boundary layer.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date01/2005
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Journal number1
Volume39
Number of pages7
Pages42-48
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper reports on the first field deployment of rapidly equilibrating thin-film passive air samplers under ambient conditions. The POlymer-coated Glass (POG) samplers have a coating of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) less than 1 μm thick applied to a glass surface. This can be dissolved off after exposure and prepared for the quantification of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that have partitioned into the film during field exposure. In this study, POGs were deployed at various heights on the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, to investigate the vertical distribution of selected compounds (PCBs, PAHs, organochlorine pesticides) in the atmospheric boundary layer of an urban area. The feasibility of the method to detect POPs from a few cubic meters of air was demonstrated, indicating the potential for rapid, low-volume sampling of air for ambient levels of POPs. PAH levels declined sharply with height, confirming ground-level emissions in urban areas as sources of these compounds; PCBs did the same, although less strongly. Different sampling events detected different vertical distributions of OC pesticides which could be related to local or distant sources, and variations in POPs on the samplers in these different events/heights demonstrate the dynamic nature of sources and atmospheric mixing of POPs.