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The use of depuration compounds in passive air samplers : results from field deployment, potential uses and recommendations.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/05/2009
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Journal number9
Volume43
Number of pages6
Pages3227-3232
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Depuration compounds (DCs) are added to passive air samplers (PAS) prior to deployment to account for the wind-dependency of the sampling rate for gas-phase compounds. This correction is particularly useful for providing comparable data for samplers that are deployed in different environments and subject to different meteorological conditions such as wind speeds. Two types of PASthe polyurethane foam (PUF) disk sampler and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs)were deployed at eight heights on a 100 m tower to test whether the DC approach could yield air concentrations profiles for PCBs and organochlorine pesticides and account for the wind speed gradient with height. Average wind speeds ranged from 0.3 to 4.5 m s−1 over the 40 day deployment, increasing with height. Two low volume active air samples (AAS), one collected at 25 m and one at 73 m over the 40 day deployment showed no significant concentration differences for target compounds. As expected, the target compounds taken up by PAS reflected the wind profile with height. This wind-dependency of the PAS was also reflected in the results of the DCs. A correction based on the DC approach successfully accounted for the effect of wind on PAS sampling rates, yielding a profile consistent with the AAS. Interestingly, in terms of absolute air concentrations, there were differences between the AAS and PAS-derived values for some target compounds. These were attributed to different sampling characteristics of the two approaches that may have resulted in slightly different air masses being sampled. Based on the results of this study, guidelines are presented for the use of DCs and for the calibration of PAS using AAS.