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Mar Pollut Bull. 2004 May;48(9-10):961-8.

Evaluation of sampling devices for the determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface microlayer coastal waters.

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Department of Environmental Chemistry, Environmental and Chemical Research Institute, IIQAB-CSIC, c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.


The sea surface microlayer (SML) may play an important role on the transport and fate of persistent organic pollutants in the marine environment. In order to evaluate the appropriateness of a number of sampling devices for the analysis of 14 parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (3-5 aromatic rings), marine SML waters were sampled using a glass plate, a rotating drum/roller, a metal screen and a surface slick sampler. The underlying waters were also sampled for the determination of the corresponding enrichment factors (EF = [C](microlayer)/[C](underlying water)). The EFs were phase dependent, ranging from 1 to 3 for the dissolved phase and between 4 and 7 for the particulate phase. In order to better assess the performance of the different sampling methods, in terms of phase partitioning, the truly dissolved and colloidal phases were also estimated. Generally, no significant differences were found for the enrichment factors provided by the different methods, due to the observed large variability in concentrations that can be attributed to small-scale coastal processes. However, the metal screen is recommended as the most efficient sampling method for the study of PAHs taking into account the amount of water collected versus time.

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