Nationwide monitoring of atmospheric PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in South Korea.Chemosphere. 2011 May; 83(10):1339-44.C
Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) were measured in ambient air samples collected from different parts of South Korea in 2008, and the measured levels were used for assessing the spatial and temporal distribution of atmospheric PCDDFs and DL-PCBs in South Korea. The average concentrations of atmospheric PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs among the 37 sites were 28 fg I-TEQ m(-3) (ND~617) and 1 fg WHO-TEQ m(-3) (ND~0.016). Elevated atmospheric levels of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs observed at residential/industrial sites and in the north-west of Korea, indicated a potential contribution and impacts of anthropogenic sources of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs. These levels were similar or lower than those previously reported in other ambient air surveys. Average concentrations of PCDD/Fs showed small seasonal variations (ANOVA analysis, p=0.144). The highest concentrations of PCDD/Fs were observed during winter, followed by spring, autumn and summer. Atmospheric PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs in South Korea rapidly decreased during the last 10 years (1998-2008), demonstrating the efficiency of stricter regulations and the application of best available technologies/best environmental practices at emission sources. Comparison of the congener profiles and principal component analysis showed that current atmospheric PCDD/Fs are mostly influenced by industrial sources and PCBs from old commercial PCB uses. Nationwide POPs monitoring will continue and allows an effective evaluation of the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs.