The concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in 35 soil samples collected from Fildes Peninsula in the Antarctic, Ny-Ålesund in the Arctic, and Zhangmu-Nyalam in the Tibetan Plateau were reported in this study. A comparison of the total concentration and TEQ of PCDD/Fs at the Three Poles was conducted. Both the total concentration and TEQ of PCDD/Fs demonstrates a decreasing trend in the order of Zhangmu-Nyalam (mean: 26.22 pg/g, 0.37 pg I-TEQ/g)>Ny-Ålesund (mean: 9.97 pg/g, 0.33 pg I-TEQ/g)>Fildes Peninsula (mean: 2.18 pg/g, 0.015 pg I-TEQ/g) (p<0.05). In all samples, the congener and homologue profiles dominated with higher (seven and eight) chlorinated PCDD/Fs (more than 85% of the total mass percentage of PCDD/Fs) at the Three Poles. Finally, a FLEXPART backward simulation was used to preliminarily identify the potential local and regional anthropogenic sources of PCDD/Fs. The results imply that the air masses passing over surrounding regions with significant PCDD/F emissions might contribute to the occurrence of PCDD/Fs in both the Arctic and Tibetan Plateau.
Characterizing pseudo equilibrium-status soil/vegetation partition coefficient KSV, the quotient of respective concentrations in soil and vegetation of a certain substance at remote background areas, is essential in ecological risk assessment, however few previous attempts have been made for field determination and developing validated and reproducible structure-based estimates. In this study, KSV was calculated based on measurements of seventeen 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD/F congeners in soil and moss (Dicranum angustum), and rouzi grass (Thylacospermum caespitosum) of two background sites, Ny-Ålesund of the Arctic and Zhangmu-Nyalam region of the Tibet Plateau, respectively. By both fugacity modeling and stepwise regression of field data, the air-water partition coefficient (KAW) and aqueous solubility (SW) were identified as the influential physicochemical properties. Furthermore, validated quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) model was developed to extrapolate the KSV prediction to all 210 PCDD/F congeners. Molecular polarizability, molecular size and molecular energy demonstrated leading effects on KSV.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), are caused for concern recently due to their adverse health effects and environmental ubiquity. In this study, atmospheric and soil PBDE levels in Taizhou, one of the largest WEEE dismantling areas in the world, were measured, ranging from 884 to 2791 pg m(-3) with an average of 1968 pg m(-3) for atmosphere and 2.96 to 200 ng g(-1)dry weight (dw) with the mean of 65.2 ng g(-1)dw for farmland soils, respectively. The close connection between soil PBDE accumulation and atmospheric deposition was also revealed by the estimation of the annual PBDE deposition flux (3.1 ± 0.9 mg m(-2)a(-1)) and the similarity between deposited congener pattern and soil congener profile. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was conducted to extract possible sources of farmland soil PBDEs and to calculate their contributions. Based on the measured source profiles of PBDE-related activities, five sources were identified representing WEEE dumping, WEEE dismantling, WEEE open burning, residential waste dismantling, and residential waste open burning. WEEE-related recycling activities contributed primary percentage (52%) to farmland soil PBDE concentration, and open burning was an important pathway for PBDEs entering the environment.
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