||Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are widely distributed in the environment. Several studies have demonstrated that these pollutants will cause potential impacts such as carcinogenic and mutagenic for human health. In this study, four sampling stations in Kaohsiung were chosen, including FS (northern Kaohsiung), AG (city center), SG (southern Kaohsiung), and NYS (coastal area). We determined the concentrations of PCBs in the atmosphere to identify the potential sources and spatiotemporal distributions of PCBs in southern Taiwan.|
The annual mean concentrations of atmospheric PCBs at SG, AG, FS, and NYS were 228±34.3, 191±43.2, 187±37.4, and 158±33.5 pg m-3, respectively. The mean PCB concentrations were 209±28.8 pg m-3, 172±38.3 pg m-3, 167±31.6 pg m-3, 141±28.4 pg m-3 in gas phase and were 18.9±5.45 pg m-3, 19.3±4.91 pg m-3, 19.6±5.76 pg m-3, 17.5±5.04 pg m-3 in particle phase, respectively. The highest concentration of PCBs was found at SG, followed by AG and FS, while the lowest one was found at NYS.
Results from compositional patterns and principal component analysis of PCBs indicate that the proportion of PCB congeners was mainly the tri and tetrachlorobiphenyls, while the lowest proportion of high-chlorinated congeners (Octachlorobiphenyls to decachlorobiphenyls) was observed in the present study. Results from hierarchical cluster analysis of PCBs can be divided into two clusters.The first cluster showed that tetrachlorobiphenyls was the predominant congener, followed by trichlorobiphenyls, and included most samples in spring (March – May) and summer (June – August). The other cluster, which obtained most samples in autumn (September – November) and winter (December – February), was dominant by trichlorobiphenyls and tetrachlorobiphenyls.
TEQ was used to determine the level of pollution for environment and human health. In this study area, the TEQ ranged from 0.531 to 0.639 fg-TEQm-3 (0.0005-0.0006 pg-TEQm-3). PCB114 was observed to be the predominant congener in this study.