Waste water treatment plants as sources of polyfluorinated compounds, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and musk fragrances to ambient air

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  • Ingo Weinberg
  • Annekatrin Dreyer
  • Ralf Ebinghaus

To investigate waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) as sources of polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and synthetic musk fragrances to the atmosphere, air samples were simultaneously taken at two WWTPs and two reference sites using high volume samplers. Contaminants were accumulated on glass fiber filters and PUF/XAD-2/PUF cartridges, extracted compound-dependent by MTBE/acetone, methanol, or hexane/acetone and detected by GC-MS or HPLC-MS/MS. Total (gas + particle phase) concentrations ranged from 97 to 1004 pg m-3 (neutral PFCs), <MQL to 13 pg m-3 (ionic PFCs), 5781 to 482,163 pg m-3 (musk fragrances) and <1 to 27 pg m-3 (PBDEs) and were usually higher at WWTPs than at corresponding reference sites, revealing that WWTPs can be regarded as sources of musk fragrances, PFCs and probably PBDEs to the atmosphere. Different concentrations at the two WWTPs indicated an influence of WWTP size or waste water origin on emitted contaminant amounts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.2011

    Research areas

  • Chemistry