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Toward a Global Network for Persistent Organic Pollutants in Air: Results from the GAPS Study.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date15/08/2006
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Journal number16
Volume40
Number of pages7
Pages4867-4873
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of using passive samplers to assess the spatial distribution of persistent organic pollutants on a worldwide basis. The GAPS network includes more than 40 sites on 7 continents, mainly in background locations, with some representation of urban and agricultural areas. Here we present concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in polyurethane foam disk samplers, deployed from December 2004 to March 2005. Legacy OCPs such as -HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane), Chlordanes (trans- and cis-Chlordane and trans-Nonachlor), Dieldrin, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane isomers were detected at most sites with some high values that may be related to possible continued use and/or re-emissions related to historic use. Geometric mean (GM) air concentrations (pg/m3) were: 8.5 for HCH (sum of - and -isomers), 2.6 for Chlordanes, 0.8 for Dieldrin, and 0.8 for p,p'-DDE. Current-use pesticides such as -HCH (lindane) and especially Endosulfan I exhibited more variable and higher concentrations with GMs of 5 and 58, respectively. PCBs and PBDEs were elevated at urban/suburban sites consistent with their historical use pattern. GM concentrations (pg/m3) were 17 for PCBs and 4 for PBDEs. Sampling under GAPS will continue and will eventually allow seasonality effects and longer-term temporal and spatial trends to be evaluated.