The Seasonal Fate of PCBs in Ambient Air and Atmospheric Deposition in Northern France

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBlanchard, M, Teil, M-J, Chevreuil, M
JournalJournal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Start Page123
Date Published02/2006
Keywordsatmosphère, bulk deposition, polychlorinated biphenyls, rainwater, washout
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as Σ21 congeners, were investigated in atmospheric bulk deposition over one year, along a northern transect of France, including 5 sites from the Atlantic coast to the east of Paris. Evidence was obtained for an easterly rise of the PCB concentrations, from 3 to 76 ng L-1. The PCB patterns were depleted in low chlorinated congeners in rural areas whereas at urban sites, the profiles were typical of local sources. The seasonal variations of concentrations were mainly controlled by the temperature. Next, at Paris, PCB distribution between the gaseous and the particulate phases was studied, considering seasonal parameters and different fate processes. Their distribution showed a prevalence of congeners in the gaseous phase (0.15–1.17 ng m-3) which occurrence decreased from 93 to 68% with the rise of congener chlorination level. In the particulate phase, they ranged from 0.01 to 0.27 ng m-3, only. Rainwater concentrations ranged from 3.1 to 13.1 ng L-1. A total rain water/air washout ratio was determined and showed a negative correlation with those reported in the literature. That might be attributed to the importance of particle scavenging. The annual bulk deposition ranged from 8 to 29 μg m-2. A decreasing trend of PCB atmospheric levels over the last fifteen years was confirmed in the studied area.