Changes in atmospheric concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls between the 1990s and 2010s in an Australian city and the role of bushfires as a source

Wang, Xianyu, Thai, Phong K., Li, Yan, Li, Qingbo, Wainwright, David, Hawker, Darryl W. and Mueller, Jochen F. (2016) Changes in atmospheric concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls between the 1990s and 2010s in an Australian city and the role of bushfires as a source. Environmental Pollution, 213 223-231. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2016.02.020


Author Wang, Xianyu
Thai, Phong K.
Li, Yan
Li, Qingbo
Wainwright, David
Hawker, Darryl W.
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Changes in atmospheric concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls between the 1990s and 2010s in an Australian city and the role of bushfires as a source
Journal name Environmental Pollution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-6424
0269-7491
Publication date 2016-06-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.02.020
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 213
Start page 223
End page 231
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Over recent decades, efforts have been made to reduce human exposure to atmospheric pollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through emission control and abatement. Along with the potential changes in their concentrations resulting from these efforts, profiles of emission sources may have also changed over such extended timeframes. However relevant data are quite limited in the Southern Hemisphere. We revisited two sampling sites in an Australian city, where the concentration data in 1994/5 for atmospheric PAHs and PCBs were available. Monthly air samples from July 2013 to June 2014 at the two sites were collected and analysed for these compounds, using similar protocols to the original study. A prominent seasonal pattern was observed for PAHs with elevated concentrations in cooler months whereas PCB levels showed little seasonal variation. Compared to two decades ago, atmospheric concentrations of ∑13 PAHs (gaseous + particle-associated) in this city have decreased by approximately one order of magnitude and the apparent halving time (t1/2) was estimated as 6.2 ± 0.56 years. ∑6i PCBs concentrations (median value; gaseous + particle-associated) have decreased by 80% with an estimated t1/2 of 11 ± 2.9 years. These trends and values are similar to those reported for comparable sites in the Northern Hemisphere. To characterise emission source profiles, samples were also collected from a bushfire event and within a vehicular tunnel. Emissions from bushfires are suggested to be an important contributor to the current atmospheric concentrations of PAHs in this city. This contribution is more important in cooler months, i.e. June, July and August, and its importance may have increased over the last two decades.
Keyword Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Seasonal variation
Temporal change
Emission source profile
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
 
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