Long-term monitoring of atmospheric PCDD/Fs at Mount Lulin during spring season: PCDD/F source apportionment through a simultaneous measurement in Southeast Asia

A long-term assessment of atmospheric polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) at Mt. Lulin, located in centre of Taiwan was carried out from 2008 to 2013 (n = 81) assuming Mt. Lulin to be background area. During monitoring processes, PCDD/F samples collected in the field occasionally reached high concentration. To investigate this situation, simultaneous sample collection was carried out in Southeast Asia countries (i.e., Vietnam and Thailand) and Taiwan in 2013. The average concentration of atmospheric PCDD/Fs in biomass-burning source regions, namely Son La and Doi Ang Khang were 19.8 ± 12.1 fg I-TEQ m(-3) (n = 19) and 17.8 ± 12.4 fg I-TEQ m(-3) (n = 20), respectively. In the downwind area of Mt. Lulin, the average concentration of PCDD/Fs was found to be 4.64 ± 3.77 fg I-TEQ m(-3) (n = 18). PCDD/F concentration in the source region was much higher than that in the downwind region. On March 19, 2013, the atmospheric PCDD/F concentrations increased dramatically from 7.71 to 484 fg I-TEQ m(-3) at Mt. Lulin, which many times exceeded that of assumed source region in Southeast Asia. Moreover, mainland Southeast Asia and the southeast coast of China was suspected to be the main contributors of atmospheric PCDD/Fs and biomass markers, such as nonsea-salt K(+) and NH4(+), during the spring. WRF-Chem and Potential Source Contribution Function (PSCF) simulations have confirmed this correlation. It can be concluded that atmospheric PCDD/Fs observed at Mt. Lulin during spring mostly derived from the air mass transport not only from Southeast Asia but also the southeast coast of China.

Authors: Hung NT, Li CT, Wang SH, Ou-Yang CF, Lin CY, Lee CT, Lin NH, Chi KH. ;Full Source: Chemosphere. 2017 Jun 29; 185:368-375. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.06.124. [Epub ahead of print] ;