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Interpreting, correlating and predicting the multi-media concentrations of PCDD/Fs in the United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/02/1999
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Journal number3
Volume33
Number of pages7
Pages399-405
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Reported concentrations of 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and furan congeners or congener groups in ten environmental media of the U.K. have been compiled. The relative equilibrium status of each congener is deduced with respect to its concentration in urban air which is regarded as the primary source of multimedia contamination. This is accomplished by calculating the equilibrium lipid partitioning (ELP) concentration for each congener and medium using partitioning information derived from measured physical chemical properties. It is shown that the extents of departure from equilibrium conditions between media are consistent for all congeners except the octa-chlorinated compounds. This method of analyzing monitoring data and the consistency of intermedia ELP concentration ratios facilitates the interpretation of the fate and levels of these persistent chemicals in a multimedia environment and yields an approximate predictive capability by which levels in one medium can be used to estimate levels in other media. Benefits of this ELP concentration approach are discussed as a means of enhancing the more complete and detailed interpretation of monitoring data for persistent compounds.