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Abundance and sources of ambient dioxins in Hong Kong: A review of dioxin measurements from 1997 to 2001

Authors Tung, JWT HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Yu, JZ View this author's profile
Lau, AKH View this author's profile
Louie, PKK
Issue Date 2005
Source Chemosphere , v. 59, (10), 2005, JUN, p. 1387-1398
Summary Ambient measurements of seventeen 2,3,7,8-polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin/dibenzofuran congeners (2,3,7,8-PCDD/Fs) have been taken in a number of monitoring programs or ad-hoc studies in Hong Kong. The longest monitoring program started at two locations in the territory in July 1997. The other monitoring efforts are ad-hoc studies, varying from a few coordinated sampling events at multiple sites to a year-long monitoring project that targeted suspected local dioxin sources. In this paper, we examined these measurements to understand the ambient levels, temporal and spatial variation, and possible sources of the 2,3,7,8-PCDD/Fs in Hong Kong. The territory-wide annual average concentration of the dioxins was 0.052 pg I-TEQ/m(3) measured at the regular monitoring stations in the most recent annual cycle of 2000/2001. This level fell at the lower end of the range of dioxin concentrations measured at other urban locations around the world. The dioxin levels showed a clear seasonality in that elevated concentrations were observed in the winter and lower concentrations in the summer at all monitoring sites with one year or more regular measurements. The measurements indicated that the few known local dioxin sources, including a major chemical waste incinerator facility, landfill sites, and vehicular traffic, are not important contributors to ambient dioxins in Hong Kong. On days of high dioxin concentrations, the 2,3,7,8-PCDD/F congeners were observed to have almost identical compositions with a north-northwest to south-southeast spatial gradient in concentrations at different sampling locations in Hong Kong. This observation, along with other collaborative evidence, established a strong link between high dioxin concentration days in Hong Kong and regional transport of the polluted air masses from the north. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Note Chemosphere © copyright 2005 Elsevier. The Journal's web site is located at
ISSN 0045-6535
Language English
Format Article
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