Atmospheric deposition of polybromodiphenyl ethers in remote mountain regions of Europe L. Arellano1, P. Fernández1, J. F. López1, N. L. Rose2, U. Nickus3, H. Thies4, E. Stuchlik5, L. Camarero6, J. Catalan7, and J. O. Grimalt1 1Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDǼA-CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain 2Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK 3Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, Innsbruck, Austria 4Institute of Zoology and Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria 5Hydrobiological Station, Institute for Environmental Studies, Charles University in Prague, P.O. Box 47, 388 01 Blatna, Czech Republic 6Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Accés a la Cala St. Francesc 14, 17300 Blanes, Catalonia, Spain 7Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Campus UAB, Edifici C, 08193 Cerdanyola, Catalonia, Spain
Abstract. Polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analyzed in bulk
atmospheric deposition collected in four European remote mountain areas over
a period of two years (2004–2006): Lake Redon (Pyrenees, Catalonia, Spain),
Gossenköllesee (Alps, Austria), Lochnagar (Grampian Mountains, Scotland)
and Skalnate (Tatras, Slovakia). In all sites, the PBDE distributions were
dominated by BDE209. BDE47 and BDE99 were the major low-brominated
congeners, followed by BDE100 and BDE183. This composition is consistent
with predominant inputs from the commercial mixtures decaBDE and pentaBDE.
The total congener site-averaged fluxes ranged between 100 ng m−2 mo−1
(Alps) and 190 ng m−2 mo−1 (Tatras).
Significant correlations between PBDE deposition and percent of North
Atlantic backwards air mass trajectories in the collected samples of the
westernmost sites, Lochnagar and Redon, suggested an impact of
transcontinental transfer of these pollutants from North American sources
into Europe. Skalnate, and to a lower extent Redon, recorded another main
PBDE source from central Europe corresponding to secondary emissions of the
pentaBDE commercial mixture. The fluxes of these secondary emissions were
temperature dependent and correlated to total particle deposition and
rainfall. Higher PBDE fluxes were observed at increasing temperature,
particle deposition and precipitation. Another specific PBDE source was
observed in United Kingdom and recorded in Lochnagar.
Photolytic degradation during transport decreased the relative abundance of
BDE209 and modified the emitted pentaBDE technical mixtures by depletion of
the relative composition of BDE99 and, to a lower extent, BDE47. The
transformations were more intense in the sites located above 2000 m (Redon
and Gossenköllesee) and, particularly, during the warm periods.
Citation: Arellano, L., Fernández, P., López, J. F., Rose, N. L., Nickus, U., Thies, H., Stuchlik, E., Camarero, L., Catalan, J., and Grimalt, J. O.: Atmospheric deposition of polybromodiphenyl ethers in remote mountain regions of Europe, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 4441-4457, doi:10.5194/acp-14-4441-2014, 2014.