Occurrence and air–soil exchange of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls at a CAWNET background site in central China: Implications for influencing factors and fate

Lingxi Zhan, Tian Lin, Zuwu Wang, Zhineng Cheng, Gan Zhang, Xiaopu Lyu, Hairong Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Ambient air and soil samples were collected between March 2012 and March 2013 at Jinsha, a regional background site in central China, to measure the concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The average concentrations of total OCPs and total PCBs were 191 ± 107 and 39.4 ± 27.1 pg/m3 in air (gaseous and particulate phase) and 0.585 ± 0.437 and 0.083 ± 0.039 ng/g in soil, respectively. The higher concentrations of p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p′-DDT) and p,p′-DDT/p,p′-DDE ratios in the soil indicated recent p,p′-DDT input to the soil. A strong positive temperature dependence and average fugacity fraction value > 0.5 were observed for p,p′-DDT, suggesting that volatilization of residual DDT in the soil was the main influencing factor on atmospheric p,p′-DDT. Highly average fugacity fractions (>0.7) of trans-chlordane (TC) and cis-chlordane (CC) and high TC/CC ratios both in the soil and atmosphere suggested fresh inputs. Higher gaseous concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were observed in winter and negative temperature dependence was directly attributed to the surrounding ongoing source (e.g. fuel consuming activities), especially in winter. Overall, most targeted OCPs and PCBs were influenced by long-range transport, and fugacity fraction values indicated highly volatile compounds (e.g. α-hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH) and lower chlorinated PCBs) were volatilized and low volatility compounds (e.g. p,p′-DDE and higher chlorinated PCBs) were deposited at the air–soil interface. Knowing the source and sink of OCPs and PCBs can help to control their pollution in this area and provide a reference for other studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Air–soil exchange
  • CAWNET background site
  • Central China
  • OCPs
  • PCBs
  • Seasonal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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