Development of polyoxymethylene passive sampler for assessing air concentrations of PCBs at a confined disposal facility (CDF)

Adesewa A. Odetayo, Danny D. Reible, Damarys Acevedo-Mackey, Cynthia Price, Le Thai

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4 Scopus citations


In this study, 76 μm polyoxymethylene (POM) strips were evaluated as a passive air sampler (PAS) for monitoring the volatile emissions from dredged material placed in confined disposal facilities (CDF). Laboratory evaluations were used to assess the uptake kinetics, average equilibrium time, and estimate the POM-air partition coefficients (KPOM-A) of 16 PCB congeners. The uptake kinetics defined the effective averaging time for air sampling and ranged from about a week for dichlorobiphenyls to 2 weeks or more for tetra- and pentachlorobiphenyls at ∼20 °C under internal mass transfer resistance control which was applicable for Log KPOM-A < 8. The measured Log KPOM-A for PCBs ranged from 5.65 to 9.34 and exhibited an average deviation of 0.19 log unit from the theoretical value of KPOM-W/KAW. The PAS approach was then tested with a preliminary field application (n = 17) at a CDF allowing equilibration over 42 days. The field application focused on lower congener PCBs as a result of the estimated increase in KPOM-A and longer uptake times expected at the low ambient temperatures during the field study (average of 3.5 °C). Total PCB air concentrations around the CDF averaged 0.32 ng/m3 and varied according to proximity to placement of the dredged materials and predominant wind directions. Average PAS concentration of low congener number PCBs (15, 18, 20/28, 31) were compared to available high volume air sampler (HVAS) measurements. The PAS concentrations were within 20% of HVAS in the dominant north and south directions and showed similar trends as east and west HVAS samplers although PAS concentrations were as much as an order of magnitude below the west HVAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114720
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Air sampling
  • CDF
  • PCBs
  • Passive sampling
  • Polyoxymethylene


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