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Has the burden and distribution of PCBs and PBDEs changed in European background soils between 1998 and 2008?: implications for sources and processes

Schuster, Jasmin K.; Gioia, Rosalinda; Moeckel, Claudia; Agarwal, Tripti; Bucheli, Thomas D.; Breivik, Knut; Steinnes, Eiliv; Jones, Kevin C.. 2011 Has the burden and distribution of PCBs and PBDEs changed in European background soils between 1998 and 2008?: implications for sources and processes. Environmental Science & Technology, 45 (17). 7291-7297. 10.1021/es200961p

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Abstract/Summary

Background soils were collected from 70 locations on a latitudinal transect in the United Kingdom and Norway in 2008, ten years after they had first been sampled in 1998. The soils were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCs), to see whether there had been any change in the loadings or distributions of these persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The same transect has also been used to sample air between the mid-1990s and the present, so the air and soil spatial and temporal trends provide information on air-soil transfers, source-receptor relationships, long-range atmospheric transport (LRAT), and recycling phenomena. Comparisons of the 2008 and 1998 data sets show a general decline for PBDEs in surface soil, and a smaller averaged net decline of PCBs. Changes between the years were observed for total POP concentrations in soil and also for correlations with site and sample characteristics assumed to affect those concentrations. POP concentrations were correlated to distance and strength of possible sources, a relationship that became weaker in the 2008 data. Fractionation, a commonly discussed process for the global cycling of POPs was also lost in the 2008 data. As in 1998, soil organic matter content continues to have a strong influence on the loadings of POPs in surface soils, but changes in the PCB loads were noted. These factors indicate an approach to air-surface soil equilibrium and a lessening of the influence of primary sources on POP concentrations in soil between 1998 and 2008.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1021/es200961p
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.1 - Monitor concentrations, fluxes, physico-chemical forms of current and emerging pollutants ...
CEH Sections: Shore
ISSN: 0013-936X
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 28 Oct 2011 15:22
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/15652

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