DDT, Chlordane, and Hexachlorobenzene in the Air of the Pearl River Delta Revisited: A Tale of Source, History, and Monsoon

Lele Tian, Jing Li, Shizhen Zhao (Corresponding Author), Jiao Tang, Jun Li, Hai Guo, Xin Liu, Guangcai Zhong, Yue Xu, Tian Lin, Xiaopu Lyu, Duohong Chen, Kechang Li, Jing Shen, Gan Zhang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Although organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have been banned for more than three decades, their concentrations have only decreased gradually. This may be largely attributable to their environmental persistence, illegal application, and exemption usage. This study assessed the historic and current regional context
for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordane, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), which were added to the Stockholm Convention in 2001. An air sampling campaign was carried out in 2018 in nine cities of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), where the historical OCP application was the most intensive in China. Different seasonalities were observed: DDT exhibited higher concentrations in summer than in winter; chlordane showed less seasonal variation, whereas HCB was higher in winter. The unique coupling of summer monsoon with DDT-infused paint usage, winter monsoon with HCB-combustion emission, and local chlordane emission jointly presents a dynamic picture of these OCPs in
the PRD air. We used the BETR Global model to back-calculate annual local emissions, which accounted for insignificant contributions to the nationally documented production (<1‰). Local emissions were the main sources of p,p’-DDT and chlordane, while ocean sources were limited (<4%). This study shows that geographic−anthropogenic factors, including source, history, and air
circulation pattern, combine to affect the regional fate of OCP compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9740-9749
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science &amp; Technology
Volume55
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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