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The first countrywide monitoring of selected POPs: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and selected organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the atmosphere of Turkey
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Atmospheric levels of 43 PCBs, 22 OCPs, and 14 PBDEs were determined in 16 cities at urban and rural sites by passive sampling to generate the first large-scale nationwide dataset of POP residues in Turkey's atmosphere. Sampling campaign was performed from May 2014 to April 2015 with three-month sampling periods at locations on east-west and north-south transects through the country to investigate seasonal and spatial variations, including long range atmospheric transport (LRAT). Factor analysis was conducted to infer on the potential sources. Overall average Σ43PCBs concentration was 108 ± 132 pg/m3. PCB-118 (26.3 ± 44.6 pg/m3) was the top congener, and penta-CBs had the highest contribution with 54.3%. ΣDDTs had the highest annual mean concentration with 134 ± 296 pg/m3 among the OCP groups among which the highest concentration compound was p'p-DDE (97.6 ± 236 pg/m3). Overall average concentration of Σ14PBDEs was 191 ± 329 pg/m3 with the highest contribution from BDE-190 (42%). Comparison of OCPs and PCBs concentrations detected at temperatures which were above and below annual average temperature indicated higher concentrations in the warmer periods, hence significance of secondary emissions for several OCPs and Σ43PCBs, as well as inference as LRAT from secondary emissions. The first nationwide POPs database constructed in this study, point to current use, local secondary emissions, and LRAT for different individual compounds, and indicate the need for regular monitoring. The first country-wide passive sampling of selected POPs showed no unequivocal trends reflecting transitional location of Turkey.