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Passive atmospheric sampling of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in urban, rural, and wetland sites along the coastal length of India

Gan Zhang, Paromita Chakraborty, Jun Li, Pichai Sampathkumar, Thangavel Balasubramanian, Kandasamy Kathiresan, Shin Takahashi, Annamalai Subramanian, Shinsuke Tanabe, Kevin C Jones
Environmental Science & Technology 2008 November 15, 42 (22): 8218-23
19068797
India is of prime interest due to the large past and ongoing use of pesticidal persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Rapid dissipation of POPs to the atmosphere in the tropical climate of India infers an atmospheric outflow of these chemicals. Yet data on POPs in the atmosphere of India are sparse. Passive air samplers consisting of polyurethane foam disks were therefore deployed concurrently at 18 locations and exposed for 6 weeks from July 30, 2006, to September 26, 2006, along the coastal length of India to screen for POPs in the atmosphere. The sampling sites were selected to form categories of urban, rural, and background (mangrove/wetlands) locations. Derived air concentrations (pg/m3) ranged as fellows: the sum of 28 PCB congeners, 120-1080; DDTs, 16-2950; HCHs, 66-5400; chlordanes, 9-921; endosulfans, 0.45-1120; and the sum of 9 PBDE congeners, 1-181. The highest levels of all the detected POPs (except endosulfan) were observed at the urban sites, indicating the dominant areas of usage and emissions. An urban-rural composition fractionation of PCBs indicates their atmospheric movement. The gamma-HCH levels were more than double those of alpha-HCH, indicating the sporadic use of lindane. DDT concentrations were elevated, at levels comparable to China, but with much higher percentages of p,p'-DDE, reflecting a more 'weathered' feature. Although no dicofol use was recorded in India, the o,p'-/p,p'-DDT ratios were observed to be even higher than in China. Chlordanes showed high trans-/cis-chlordane (TC/CC) ratios, indicative of the current use of technical chlordane and a contribution from heptachlor usage.

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