Characteristic accumulation of PCDD/Fs in pine needles near an MSWI and emission levels of the MSWI in Pearl River Delta: A case study.Chemosphere. 2017 Aug; 181:360-367.C
Pine needle samples were collected near a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) in Pearl River Delta, southern China, as well as the stack gas and dust samples of the MSWI were simultaneously collected. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) were analyzed following the USEPA Method 1613B. The concentration of PCDD/Fs in the pine needles (137-625 ng/kg, 25-51 ng I-TEQ/kg) is the highest level ever detected in China. Congener profile comparison and principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the MSWI as an important emission source of environmental PCDD/Fs. The PCDD/Fs in the pine needles mainly depended on the atmospheric concentration, exposure time and also the wind direction. The accumulation of PCDD/Fs in this species did not occur at a steady rate, and the total concentrations covered up the actual photolysis information. Gas-phase partitioning of compounds in the atmosphere was the dominant process through which PCDD/Fs were adsorbed onto the pine needle surface in contrast with particle-phase deposition, and subsequent environmental behavior varied between the congeners. Photo-degradation was the major transformation process as PCDD/Fs were adsorbed onto the pine needle surfaces. Higher chlorinated PCDD/Fs were more recalcitrant to photo-degradation than those that were less chlorinated, and PCDDs were more resistant to photo-degradation than PCDFs. On the other hand, the strong ability of lipid-rich pine needles to accumulate dioxin compounds indicates they can be used as the absorption sink of PCDD/Fs in heavily polluted areas because it is easier to dispose of pine needles than it is to clean contaminated air.