Organochlorine pesticides in the atmosphere of Guangzhou and Hong Kong: Regional sources and long-range atmospheric transport

Jun Li, Gan Zhang, Lingli Guo, Weihai Xu, Xiangdong Li, Celine S.L. Lee, Aijun Ding, Tao Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were measured in the atmosphere over the period of December 2003-December 2004 at four sampling sites in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Gas phase and particle phase concentrations of 8 OCP species, including trans-chlordane (t-CHL), cis-chlordane (c-CHL), p,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDE, o,p′-DDT, α-endosulfan, α- and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), were studied. OCPs were found predominantly in the gas phase in all seasons. t-CHL, c-CHL, o,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDT and α-endosulfan had significantly (p<0.001) higher concentrations than other OCPs, with mean values (gas+particle) typically ranging from 103 to 1440 pg m-3. In general, the concentrations of OCPs in summer were higher than that in winter, except for α-HCH which showed no clear seasonal pattern. Higher levels of γ-HCH and o,p′-DDT found in Guangzhou could be attributed to the present usage of lindane and dicofol in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. The very high concentrations of p,p′-DDT and α-endosulfan were observed at all sampling sites. The results of 7 days air back trajectory analysis indicated that the unusual high p,p′-DDT levels in summer in both cities could be related to the seasonal usage of DDT containing antifouling paints for fishing ships in the upwind seaports of the region. The high concentrations of α-endosulfan in winter in the study area suggested an atmospheric transport by the winter monsoon from the East China, where endosulfan is being used as insecticide in cotton fields. The consistency of the seasonal variation of concentrations and isomeric ratios of DDTs and α-endosulfan with the alternation of winter monsoon and summer monsoon suggested that the Asian monsoon plays an important role in the long-range atmospheric transport of OCPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3889-3903
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • Back trajectory
  • Chlordane
  • DDT
  • Guangzhou
  • HCH
  • Hong Kong
  • OCPs
  • South China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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