Worldwide distribution of Persistent Organic Pollutants in air, including results of air monitoring by passive air sampling in five continents

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Christian Bogdal
  • Martin Scheringer
  • Esteban Abad
  • Manoli Abalos
  • Bert van Bavel
  • Jessika Hagberg
  • Heidelore Fiedler
This article provides anoverview ofconcentrations ofpersistent organic pollutants (POPs)inambient air onaglobal scale, including recent measurements and an extensive compilation ofliterature data.Inthis study,passive air samplers (PASs)were successfully employed to assess concentrations ofPOPs inambient air from Africa,Latin America,the Caribbean,and the Pacific Islands. The project aimed toextend the knowledge onenvironmental contamination byPOPs inthese regions,where the currently available data are still limited toafew monitoring studies.
The ambient air concentrations of PCB inAfrica were relatively high when compared toother regions.Waste,inparticular electronic waste, exported toAfrica from industrialized countries may beapossible source ofPCB inAfrica,where PCB have never been extensively used or produced.For DDTs,the wide range ofconcentrations and particularly high levels insome countries ofAfrica and the PacificIslands reflectthe use ofDDT for malaria control inthese regions.For PCDD/PCDF, concentrations in Africa and Latin America are similar tooreven higher than inEurope,probably due tounfavorable combustion practices of chlorine-containing materials.
The data support the needs for further monitoring indeveloping countries and countries with economies intransition,and action toreduce environmental contamination by,and human exposure to,hazardous chemicals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Analytical Chemistry
Pages (from-to)150-161
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 05.2013

    Research areas

  • Chemistry - Air monitoring, Dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), Dioxin-like PCB (dl-PCB), Environmental contamination, Human exposure, Passive air sampling, Persistent organic pollutant (POP), olychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD), Polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF)