Author(s): Totten LA, Panangadan M, Eisenreich SJ, Cavallo GJ, Fikslin TJ
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Abstract Atmospheric deposition can be an important source of PCBs to aquatic ecosystems. To develop the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for the tidal Delaware River (water-quality Zones 2-5), estimates of the loading of PCBs to the river from atmospheric deposition were generated from seven air-monitoring sites along the river. This paper presents the atmospheric PCB data from these sites, estimates direct atmospheric deposition fluxes, and assesses the importance of atmospheric deposition relative to other sources of PCBs to the river. Also, the relationship between indirect atmospheric deposition and PCB loads from minor tributaries to the Delaware River is discussed. Data from these sites revealed high atmospheric PCB concentrations in the Philadelphia/Camden urban area and lower regional background concentrations in the more remote areas. Wet, dry particle, and gaseous absorption deposition are estimated to contribute about 0.6, 1.8, and 6.5 kg year-(-1) sigmaPCBs to the River, respectively, exceeding the TMDL of 0.139 kg year(-1) by more than an order of magnitude. Penta-PCB watershed fluxes were obtained by dividing the tributary loads by the watershed area. The lowest of these watershed fluxes are less than approximately 1 ng m(-2) day(-1) for penta-PCB and probably indicates pristine watersheds in which PCB loads are dominated by atmospheric deposition. In these watersheds, the pass-through efficiency of PCBs is estimated to be on the order of 1\%.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology