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Lack of an aging effect on the soil/air partitioning of PCBs.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date15/09/1998
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Journal number18
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


Two different laboratory experiments were undertaken to investigate whether the aging of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soils affects their soil−air partitioning behavior. In the first, portions of a sandy loam soil were spiked and stored in glass jars for 3−392 days to artificially age the PCB residues. Soil−air partition coefficients (KSA) were then determined using a solid-phase fugacity meter. In the second experiment, a sewage sludge that had been highly contaminated with PCBs more than 30 years ago and stored in a lagoon was obtained and blended with soil. An additional 10 PCB congeners, which were shown not to be naturally present in the sludge-amended soil, were added. Aliquots of the spiked sludge-amended soil were stored for 1−42 days. After each storage period, the relative partitioning of the native and spiked congeners from the sludge-amended soil into the air was measured. Results from the two experiments showed that aging, by either storage in glass jars or exposure to natural processes in a lagoon for 30 years, did not affect the soil−air partitioning behavior of PCBs. There was a short period after spiking (2−12 weeks) in which the spiked PCBs were more readily partitioned into the air, but after this initial effect, there were no further changes in soil−air partitioning behavior.