Persistent organic pollutants in snow from European high mountain areas

Persistent organic pollutants in snow from European high mountain areas Snow cores were collected in the catchment area of five remote mountain lakes in Europe. They were analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and organochlorine pesticides, namely DDTs, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH). PAH are found in higher amounts in the Tatra and Caledonian mountains, PCB are higher in the Alps and HCH are highest in the Alps and Pyrenees. The qualitative PAH distributions are dominated by low molecular weight compounds, phenanthrene being the most abundant PAH in all but in one site. These compounds also occur predominantly in the gas phase in the atmosphere. Their high abundance in the snowpack witness the occurrence of effective transfer mechanisms from gas to snow flakes. In Starolesnianske (Tatra mountains), a higher contribution of high molecular weight compounds is found. This site exhibits the highest snow PAH and suspended particulate levels. Transformation of the concentration values of these compounds into annual deposition rates and correction for catchment/lake area indicates that in Scandinavia and the Alps a large proportion of PAH incorporation is mediated by snowfallout whereas in the Tatra mountains snow deposition only accounts for a small fraction of the compounds stored in the lake sediments. Among organochlorine compounds, only PCB and HCH have been found above method detection limit in most of the samples. The PCB congener distributions changes significantly between sites, although a predominance of the less chlorinated congeners have generally been observed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Atmospheric Environment Elsevier

Persistent organic pollutants in snow from European high mountain areas

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
1352-2310
eISSN
1873-2844
D.O.I.
10.1016/S1352-2310(00)00201-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Snow cores were collected in the catchment area of five remote mountain lakes in Europe. They were analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and organochlorine pesticides, namely DDTs, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH). PAH are found in higher amounts in the Tatra and Caledonian mountains, PCB are higher in the Alps and HCH are highest in the Alps and Pyrenees. The qualitative PAH distributions are dominated by low molecular weight compounds, phenanthrene being the most abundant PAH in all but in one site. These compounds also occur predominantly in the gas phase in the atmosphere. Their high abundance in the snowpack witness the occurrence of effective transfer mechanisms from gas to snow flakes. In Starolesnianske (Tatra mountains), a higher contribution of high molecular weight compounds is found. This site exhibits the highest snow PAH and suspended particulate levels. Transformation of the concentration values of these compounds into annual deposition rates and correction for catchment/lake area indicates that in Scandinavia and the Alps a large proportion of PAH incorporation is mediated by snowfallout whereas in the Tatra mountains snow deposition only accounts for a small fraction of the compounds stored in the lake sediments. Among organochlorine compounds, only PCB and HCH have been found above method detection limit in most of the samples. The PCB congener distributions changes significantly between sites, although a predominance of the less chlorinated congeners have generally been observed.

Journal

Atmospheric EnvironmentElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2001

References

  • Wet deposition of current-use pesticides in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range California, USA
    McConnell, L.L.; LeNoir, J.S.; Datta, S.; Seiber, J.N.
  • Global usage of selected persistent organochlorines
    Voldner, E.C.; Li, Y.-F.
  • The effects of snow and ice on the environmental behaviour of hydrophobic organic chemicals
    Wania, F.; Hoff, J.T.; Jia, C.Q.; Mackay, D.

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