Spatial distribution of airborne polychlorinated biphenyls in Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois

Carolyn Persoon, Thomas M. Peters, Naresh Kumar, Keri C. Hornbuckle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Passive samplers were deployed across Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL to evaluate the spatial variability of airborne PCBs in urban areas. We measured ∑PCB concentrations, the sum of 151 congeners or congener groups quantified using tandem mass spectrometry, spatial distributions, and congener profiles in two urban areas in the Great Lakes region. Mean ∑PCB concentrations were significantly different between Cleveland (1.73 ± 1.16 ng m3) and Chicago (1.13 ± 0.58 ng m3) during the August 2008 sampling period. Mean congener profiles were compared with commercial Aroclor mixtures and found to be similar to Aroclor 1242 in Cleveland and similar to a mixture of 1242 and 1254 in Chicago. We observed large spatial variation in concentrations and weak or no significant autocorrelation between sites in both cities. "Hot spots" of high ∑PCB concentrations were identified in both urban areas and the congener profiles at these locations were most strongly correlated to that of PCB Aroclor mixtures. Congener profiles showed important differences including the enrichment of dioxin-like congeners in Chicago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2797-2802
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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