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Issue 2, 2002
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Patterns and levels of halogenated volatile compounds in Portuguese surface waters

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The present study focused on monitoring the concentration of 14 halogenated volatile organic compounds in surface waters, including sea, estuarine, river water and industrial effluents in order to determine the most ubiquitous compounds and their concentration levels, which were used to establish their geographical and temporal distribution. EPA Method 502, based on purge and trap techniques, was used. In this method volatile organic pollutants are extracted (purged) from the water sample by bubbling inert gas through the aqueous sample. Purged sample components are trapped in a cartridge containing the polymeric sorbent Tenax and, thereafter, the cartridge is heated and backflushed with helium to desorb the trapped sample components directly into a gas chromatograph with electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The linearity range of the method varied from 0.1 to 4 µg L−1 with a limit of detection at the low µg L−1 level. The present study consisted of a monthly monitoring of 46 points throughout Portugal, during 14 months. Chloroform was found in 50% of the samples analyzed, its presence being correlated to both agricultural and industrial activities. Other compounds detected were tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride and 1,2,4 trichlorobenzene, which were present in 10–20% of the samples at concentrations up to 18 µg L−1. 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane and its degradation product 1,1,2-trichloroethane were found in 5% of the samples, the levels of the latter being higher than those of the parent compound in most samples. Sporadic high concentrations of some volatile halogenated organic compounds were attributed to local uses as solvents.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Oct 2001, accepted on 02 Jan 2001 and first published on 12 Feb 2002

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B109623K
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2002,4, 253-257
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    Patterns and levels of halogenated volatile compounds in Portuguese surface waters

    E. Martínez, I. Llobet, S. Lacorte, P. Viana and D. Barceló, J. Environ. Monit., 2002, 4, 253
    DOI: 10.1039/B109623K

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