Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 23

Report describing of the main factors determining the composition of atmospherically transported organochlorine compounds to remotes sites in the Pyrenees and the Tatra Mountains

This deliverable comprises a paper published in Environmental Science and Technology (van Drooge et al, 2004). Atmospheric samples from two European high−mountain areas showed similar composition of semivolatile organochlorine compounds (SOC), such as polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), DDTs, endosulfans, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). Nearly all compounds were predominantly found in the gas phase and only the less volatile such as some PCBs (e.g., 149, 118, 153, 138, and 180) were found in higher abundance in the particulate phase. HCB, 49−85 pg m−3, is the dominant SOC. This compound is only found in the gas phase exhibiting uniform concentrations irrespective of season and air mass origin. Presently used SOC, such as HCHs and endosulfans, were found in higher concentrations in the warm periods, 32− 46 and 4−10 pg m−3 in the gas + particulate phases, respectively, reflecting their seasonal pattern of use in many European countries. PCB and 4,4/ −DDE, 39−42 and 4−6 pg m−3 in the gas + particulate phases, respectively, also showed a seasonal trend despite neither the former nor the precursor of the latter (4,4/ −DDT) being manufactured with their use drastically restricted since the 1980s. The seasonal differences are mainly due to a higher occurrence of air masses with strong continental inputs in warm rather than in the cold periods. In this respect, samples whose air masses travelled at the high troposphere (backward air mass trajectories >6000 m) have been observed to carry considerably smaller PCB and 4,4/ −DDE loads (9.3 ± 2.8 and 0.4 ± 0.05 pg m−3, respectively) than overall average.

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