Ambient air levels and atmospheric long-range transport of persistent organochlorines to Signy Island, Antarctica
Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides have been determined in ambient air at Signy Island, Antarctica, over a period of 17 weeks. Mean concentrations for single polychlorinated biphenyls (0.02–17 pg/m3), for chlordanes (0.04–0.9 pg/m3), DDT compounds (0.07–0.40 pg/m3) and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH, 22 pg/m3) were comparable to those in Arctic air. However, α-HCH levels were approximately one order of magnitude lower. Compared to the Arctic, differences were also observed in the concentration ratios of α-/γ-HCH and chlordane compounds. Two possible atmospheric long-range transport episodes from South America were found by comparing 10-day back trajectories with observed concentration changes. The lower limits of determination (LOD) were mainly governed by the field blanks. They were satisfactory for the most volatile PCBs. However, many concentrations for DDT and chlordane compounds were below the LODs (range 0.1–1 pg/m3) or even the instrumental detection limit (0.01–0.03 pg/m3).