Assessing persistent organic pollutants (POPS) in the sicily island atmosphere, mediterranean, using PUF disk passive air samplers

Gianluca Sara', Victor H. Estellano, Gerhard Lammel, Marie D. Mulder, Silvano Focardi, Christos I. Efstathiou, Karla Pozo, Teresa Romeo

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, PUF disk passive air samplers were deployed at eight sites, during two sampling periods, on the Island of Sicily in the Mediterranean basin. Samples were screened for a number of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (n = 28 congeners), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) (n = 16 compounds), and polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs n = 28) using GC-MS. PCB concentrations in air ranged ~10- 300 pg m−3. The PCB pattern was dominated by lower to middle molecular weight PCBs (Cl3-5) and PCB-28 and PCB-52 were the most abundant congeners. α- and γ- Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) concentrations in air were relatively high ~420 ± 320 (50-1000) and 460 ± 340 (30- 1000) pg m−3, respectively, with an average α/γ ratio of 1 ± 0.5, indicating a tendency of higher use of lindane than of technical HCH. Among DDTs, only p,p′-DDT 90 ± 15 (~10-800) and p,p′-DDE 60 ± 60 (20-400) were frequently detected. DDT/DDE = 0.4-3.0 (1.0 ± 0.7 for both periods) suggesting past and fresh inputs of DDTat the sampling sites. α-Endosulfan, recently included in Annex A of the Stockholm Convention, fluctuated between 120 ± 50 (50-1000) pg m−3. In contrast, PBDE levels were very low (0.2-2 pgm−3). Back trajectories of advection suggest that POP levels are mainly related to local sources (primary or secondary) from Sicily (50-70% contribution of air masses), Southern Italy, and Sardinia (20%). This study provides new information for POP levels in the atmosphere of the Mediterranean region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20796-20804
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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