Seasonal patterns and current sources of DDTs, chlordanes, hexachlorobenzene, and endosulfan in the atmosphere of 37 Chinese cities

Xiang Liu, Gan Zhang, Jun Li, Li Li Yu, Yue Xu, Xiangdong Li, Yuso Kobara, Kevin C. Jones

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

China has a history of large scale production and application of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) although, data on their nationwide distribution and seasonal variations in the atmosphere is still sparse. Passive air samplers (PAS) were therefore utilized to obtain seasonal data from 37 Chinese cities and three background sites in 2005. Concentrations and spatial and seasonal distribution of dichlorodiphenyltrichloro-ethanes (DDTs), chlordanes (CHLs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and endosulfans (Endo) are presented in this paper, and their potential sources are discussed based on the data-set. It is estimated that ca. 95% of DDTs present in the atmosphere of Chinese cities was still from technical DDT, while only ca. ∼5% was "dicofol-type of DDT". DDT application for public health control and DDT activated antifouling paint for fishing ships may be the two most important current sources of technical DDT. The DDT concentrations in several Chinese cities seem to match well with the reported DDT concentrations in human breast milk. A low TC/CC ratio was observed across China in the winter to spring, which may provide a fingerprint of Chinese chlordane emission. It was suggested that "weathered" chlordane emitted from urban construction foundations in winter may give the distinctively low TC/CC ratio. The data showed that China is an important global source for HCB. Higher HCB concentrations were observed in winter and spring, and in colder cities, highlighting an important contribution from combustion sources. Samples with
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1321
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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