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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jun 1;41(11):3877-83.

Spatial and temporal trends of chiral organochlorine signatures in Great Lakes air using passive air samplers.

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University of Toronto at Scarborough, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4, Canada.


Passive air samples (PAS) were collected and analyzed to assess the spatial and temporal trends of chiral organochlorine signatures in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Samples were collected from 15 sites and analyzed for the concentrations and enantiomer signature of chlordanes and alpha-hexachlorocyclohexane (alpha-HCH). Levels of the chlordanes were typically 4 times higher in urban areas than what were observed at rural and remote locations, exhibiting strong urban-rural gradients. Near racemic residues were seen for the chlordane enantiomers in samples collected from sites located in Toronto and Chicago, which can be attributed to continued emissions of historical use of the technical chlordane mixture, while the chiral signature observed at sites located in rural and remote locations was indicative of an aged source. Knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of the enantiomer signatures of chlordane and alpha-HCH in air is useful for distinguishing sources of these compounds to ambient air. Results suggest that potential sources, such as those associated with Toronto and Chicago, have limited influence over the levels at rural and remote sites within the Great Lakes. Sources that are relatively close to sample sites, however, have a strong influence on levels observed at those sites. For instance, results indicate that Lake Superior continues to act as a source of alpha-HCH to sites located on its shores. Generally, it appears that during the warmer months, local enhanced surface-air exchange influences air concentrations and that during the cooler periods of the year, levels in the atmosphere are more strongly influenced by advective transport from source regions.

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