Congener profiles and source-wise phase partitioning analysis of PCDDs/Fs and PCBs in Gyeonggi-do ambient air, South Korea

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Abstract

The atmospheric concentrations and gas–particle partitioning of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDDs/Fs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were investigated at two sites (Suwon and Ansan) in Gyeonggi-do, a heavily industrialized area of Korea, during the year 2010. The sum level (Σ17) of PCDDs/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs) in the ambient air at Suwon and Ansan ranged from 0.04 to 0.30 pg-TEQ•m−3 (geometric mean: 0.09 pg-TEQ•m−3) and 0.17 to 0.63 pg-TEQ•m−3 (geometric mean: 0.36 pg-TEQ•m−3), respectively. Moreover, the geometric mean concentrations of Σ180 PCBs at Suwon and Ansan were 233.6 pg•m−3 and 274.2 pg•m−3, respectively, and di-chlorinated biphenyls and tri-chlorinated biphenyls were the predominant homologs. Among the PCB congeners, 3,3'-dichlorobiphenyl (PCB-11) was the dominant species at both sites during all sampling periods, comprising up to 15.1% of Σ180 PCBs at Ansan and 24.6% at Suwon. We evaluated their gas-to-particle equilibriums by conducting regression between the particle–gas partition coefficient Kp (m3•ug−1) and the corresponding subcooled liquid vapor pressure (PL°). The slope (m) values for log–log plots of Kp vs. PL° were steeper in industrial areas owing to local source proximity. Moreover, owing to enhanced emissions from combustion-related sources at low temperatures, PCDD/Fs exhibited the largest deviation from the regression line of the particle–gas partition coefficient. Incinerators were found to be the primary emission source of atmospheric PCDDs/Fs, whereas re-evaporation from pre-existing environmental loads (e.g., storage areas or spilled soil and water bodies) was the dominant source for PCBs.

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Heo, J., Kim, D., & Lee, G. (2014). Congener profiles and source-wise phase partitioning analysis of PCDDs/Fs and PCBs in Gyeonggi-do ambient air, South Korea. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(11), 11065–11080. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111111065

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