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Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Sep 1;38(17):4474-83.

Using passive air samplers to assess urban-rural trends for persistent organic pollutants. 1. Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides.

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Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 5T4.


Passive air samplers were used to investigate urban-rural differences of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) over an integrated time period. Samplers consisting of polyurethane foam (PUF) disks and semi-permeable membrane devices (SPMDs) were housed in protective chambers and deployed at six sites for a 4 month duration in the summer of 2000. The sampling transect originated in downtown Toronto and extended approximately 75 km northward into a rural region. Results for the two types of samplers agreed well with one another. Higher blank levels were encountered for the SPMDs, especially for the OCPs, whereas blanks were very low for the PUF disks. Passive sampler-derived air concentrations were consistent with previous measurements of PCBs and OCPs in the region. The largest urban-rural gradient was observed for PCBs (approximately 5-10 times). Chlordanes also showed an urban-rural gradient, possibly reflecting past usage of chlordane on residential lawns and emissions from treated house foundations. Other OCPs exhibited a rural-urban gradient (dieldrin, endosulfan 1, and DDT isomers), which was attributed either to off-gassing from previously treated agricultural soils (dieldrin and DDTs) or to continued usage in agriculture (endosulfan 1). The results of this study demonstrated the feasibility of using such devices to determine air concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and to assess their spatial distribution for time-integrated samples. Data such as this is essential for: model validation and for process research and addressing international monitoring strategies on POPs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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