Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 1231-1248, 2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is licensed under the
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The global environment is predicted to be contaminated by the substances within ca. 2a (years). DDT reaches quasi-steady state within 3-4a in the atmosphere and vegetation compartments, ca. 6a in the sea surface mixed layer and near to or slightly more than 10a in soil. Lindane reaches quasi-steady state in the atmosphere and vegetation within 2a, in soils within 8 years and near to or slightly more than 10a and in the sea surface mixed layer. The substances' differences in environmental behaviour translate into differences in the compartmental distribution and total environmental residence time, τoverall. τoverall≈0.8a for γ-HCH's and ≈1.0-1.3 a for the various DDT scenarios. Both substances' distributions are predicted to migrate in northerly direction, 5-12° for DDT and 6.7° for lindane between the first and the tenth year in the environment. Cycling in various receptor regions is a complex superposition of influences of regional climate, advection, and the substance's physico-chemical properties. As a result of these processes the model simulations show that remote boreal regions are not necessarily less contaminated than tropical receptor regions. Although the atmosphere accounts for only 1% of the total contaminant burden, transport and transformation in the atmosphere is key for the distribution in other compartments. Hence, besides the physico-chemical properties of pollutants the location of application (entry) affects persistence and accumulation emphasizing the need for georeferenced exposure models.