Air monitoring of new and legacy POPs in the Group of Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) region

Cassandra Rauert, Tom Harner, Jasmin K. Schuster, Anita Eng, Gilberto Fillmann, Luisa Eugenia Castillo, Oscar Fentanes, Martín Villa Ibarra, Karina S.B. Miglioranza, Isabel Moreno Rivadeneira, Karla Pozo, Beatriz Helena Aristizábal Zuluaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A special initiative in the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) Network was implemented to provide information on new and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Group of Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) region. Regional-scale atmospheric concentrations of the new and emerging POPs hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), pentachloroanisole (PCA) and dicofol indicators (breakdown products) are reported for the first time. HCBD was detected in similar concentrations at all location types (<20–120 pg/m3). PCA had elevated concentrations at the urban site Concepción (Chile) of 49–222 pg/m3, with concentrations ranging <1–8.5 pg/m3 at the other sites in this study. Dicofol indicators were detected at the agricultural site of Sonora (Mexico) at concentrations ranging 30–117 pg/m3. Legacy POPs, including a range of organochlorine (OC) pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were also monitored to compare regional atmospheric concentrations over a decade of monitoring under the GAPS Network. γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and the endosulfans significantly decreased (p < 0.05) from 2005 to 2015, suggesting regional levels are decreasing. However, there were no significant changes for the other legacy POPs monitored, likely a reflection of the persistency and slow decline of environmental levels of these POPs. For the more volatile OCs, atmospheric concentrations derived from polyurethane foam (PUF) (acting as an equilibrium sampler) and sorbent impregnated PUF (SIP) (acting as a linear phase sampler), were compared. The complimentary methods show a good agreement of within a factor of 2–3, and areas for future studies to improve this agreement are further discussed. Regional scale atmospheric concentrations of hexachlorobutadiene, pentachloroanisole and dicofol are reported for the first time in the GRULAC region, along with concentrations of legacy POPs with only γ-hexachlorocyclohexane and endosulfans significantly reducing (p < 0.05) in the region from 2005 to 2015. A comparison study of SIP-PAS vs PUF-PAS demonstrated the applicability of both media for monitoring more volatile POPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1262
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial funding and support was provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). These data have been generated in the frame of the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs under the Stockholm Convention, with support from the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention and UN Environment. The implementation of the project as part of the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs has been made possible thanks to the generous contribution to the Stockholm Convention Voluntary Trust Fund by the European Commission through its Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC) programme. Thank you to the team at Rio Blanco nature reserve –Aguas de Manizales in Manizales, for the collaboration during the sampling period. G. Fillmann is a research fellow of the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq PQ 312341/2013-0) and CAPES (88881.120814/2016–01). K Pozo is funded by the Fondecyt project 1161673. Deep thanks to the Chacaltaya GAW station team helping on the deployment and recovery of the samples, especially Fernando Velarde and Marcelo Peñaloza. Thanks to Clemens Ruepert from the Laboratory of Pesticide Residue Analysis of IRET for his collaboration during field work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Atmospheric POPs
  • Dicofol
  • GRULAC region
  • Hexachlorobutadiene
  • Pentachloroanisole


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