Dr. Javier Castro Jiménez
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Atmospheric Monitoring of Stockholm Convention POPs

The global distribution of POPs, the difficulties in their sampling and analyses and the associated high economic cost of those procedures make it complicated to obtain experimental data from all areas of interest. Many “non monitored areas” exits, and for numerous zones no information on POPs ambient levels is available. Such is the case for instance with Southern-Western Europe, that remains uncovered by the EMEP POPs monitoring network. Our main objective was to initiate systematic (weekly) POPs atmospheric measurements (gas and particulate phases) in order to assess the atmospheric concentrations and seasonal variations of selected POPs in a sub-alpine location in one of the “non monitored areas”. Generated results will be available for further use (e.g. inclusion in the EMEP network database, POPs fate model development and validation or future risk assessment of POPs in sub-alpine locations). In addition, results on atmospheric concentrations were used for the evaluation of atmospheric inputs to Lake Maggiore .

POPs EMEP Site in Autumn (Ispra-JRC) POPs EMEP Station in Winter (Ispra-JRC)

A monitoring and research station was set up at the JRC Ispra EMEP site. The sampling site is located in a semi-rural area by the Eastern shore of the sub-alpine Lake Maggiore, in the Varese province (Lombardy), Northern Italy (45°49’N, 8°38’E, 209 m a.s.l). Although the Varese province is one of the most industrialized districts in Italy with a relatively elevated population for a semi-rural area, the station is several tens of km away from large emission sources like intense road traffic or big factories.

J. Castro at the EMEP station in winter Detail of air sample collected in November 2006

Integrated weekly samples were collected from April 2005 using high volume samplers. Two air samplers were set up and used interchangeably to gather samples throughout the sampling period. Air particle phase was retained by using a 102 mm diameter quartz fiber filter (QFF) whereas the gas phase was trapped with a polyurethane foam (PUF) plug of 65 mm diameter, 75 mm length. Analyses of 108 atmopsheric samples revealed that sum2,3,7,8-PCDD/F atmospheric total concentrations were dominated by the aerosol-bound fraction which ranged from 50 to 3080 (1 - 215 WHO98 TEQ) fg m3. In contrast DL-PCB levels were dominated by the gas phase concentrations and varied from 1800 to 14800 (1 - 5 WHO98 TEQ) fg m3.  Estimated total atmospheric (dry + wet) depositional fluxes of dioxin-like pollutants (PCDD/Fs + DL-PCBs)  in sub-alpine northern Italy varied from  0.2 - 9.5 ng m-2 d-1, with wet deposition dominating. Total atmospheric inputs into Lake Maggiore ranged from 14 to 304 g y-1.

Most relevant scientific output:


Castro-Jiménez J. , Eisenreich S.J., Mariani G., Skejo H., Umlauf G (2012). Monitoring atmospheric levels and deposition of dioxin-like pollutants in sub-alpine Northern Italy. Atmospheric Environment 56, 194-202

J. Castro-Jiménez
, S. Dueri, S.J. Eisenreich, G. Mariani, H. Skejo, G. Umlauf and J.M. Zaldívar (2009). Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the atmosphere of sub-alpine northern Italy. Environmental Pollution
157, 1024-1032


Communications at conferences / scientific meetings

J. Castro-Jiménez
, S.J. Eisenreich, G. Mariani, H. Skejo, G. Umlauf. Dioxin-like pollutants in sub-alpine Northern Italy: Results from 1 year of monitoring at the EMEP Ispra Station. SETAC Europe 21th Annual Meeting. Milan, May 2011. Poster.

J. Castro-Jiménez, S. Dueri, S.J. Eisenreich, G. Mariani, H. Skejo, G. Umlauf, J.M Zaldivar. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) atmospheric concentrations and deposition in sub-alpine Northern Italy SETAC Europe 20th Annual Meeting. Seville, May 2010. Poster Corner.





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