Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 3, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Spatial distribution of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Australia's atmosphere

Author affiliations

Abstract

A nation-wide passive air sampling campaign recorded concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in Australia's atmosphere in 2012. XAD-based passive air samplers were deployed for one year at 15 sampling sites located in remote/background, agricultural and semi-urban and urban areas across the continent. Concentrations of 47 polychlorinated biphenyls ranged from 0.73 to 72 pg m−3 (median of 8.9 pg m−3) and were consistently higher at urban sites. The toxic equivalent concentration for the sum of 12 dioxin-like PCBs was low, ranging from below detection limits to 0.24 fg m−3 (median of 0.0086 fg m−3). Overall, the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in Australia were among the lowest reported globally to date. Among the organochlorine pesticides, hexachlorobenzene had the highest (median of 41 pg m−3) and most uniform concentration (with a ratio between highest and lowest value ∼5). Bushfires may be responsible for atmospheric hexachlorobenzene levels in Australia that exceeded Southern Hemispheric baseline levels by a factor of ∼4. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations generally increased from remote/background and agricultural sites to urban sites, except for high concentrations of α-endosulfan and DDTs at specific agricultural sites. Concentrations of heptachlor (0.47–210 pg m−3), dieldrin (ND-160 pg m−3) and trans- and cis-chlordanes (0.83–180 pg m−3, sum of) in Australian air were among the highest reported globally to date, whereas those of DDT and its metabolites (ND-160 pg m−3, sum of), α-, β-, γ- and δ-hexachlorocyclohexane (ND-6.7 pg m−3, sum of) and α-endosulfan (ND-27 pg m−3) were among the lowest.

Graphical abstract: Spatial distribution of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Australia's atmosphere

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Nov 2014
Accepted
05 Jan 2015
First published
05 Jan 2015

Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015,17, 525-532
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Spatial distribution of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Australia's atmosphere

X. Wang, K. Kennedy, J. Powell, M. Keywood, R. Gillett, P. Thai, P. Bridgen, S. Broomhall, C. Paxman, F. Wania and J. F. Mueller, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, 17, 525
DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00594E

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements