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Characterization of 209 polychlorinated biphenyls in street dust from northern Vietnam: Contamination status, potential sources, and risk assessment

Anh, Hoang Quoc, Watanabe, Isao, Tomioka, Keidai, Minh, Tu Binh, Takahashi, Shin
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.652 pp. 345-355
children, dust, electrical equipment, industrialization, manufacturing, oils, polychlorinated biphenyls, risk assessment, rural areas, traffic, urban areas, urbanization, Vietnam
A full congener-specific determination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was conducted for street dusts in some areas in northern Vietnam. Total 209 PCB concentrations (median and range) of 14 (2.2–120), 11 (6.6–32), and 0.25 (0.10–0.97) ng g−1 were measured in the street dusts from an industrial park, an urban area, and a rural commune, respectively, suggesting environmental loads of PCBs related to industrialization and urbanization in northern Vietnam. PCB patterns of street dusts from the industrial park were dominated by lightly chlorinated homologs (tri- and tetra-CBs), while more highly chlorinated homologs (penta- and hexa-CBs) were the major contributors to total PCBs in the urban samples, indicating different emission sources. Linear correlations of log-transformed sum of 7 indicator congeners with total PCBs and sum of dioxin-like PCBs were observed. PCB-11, an inadvertently produced congener of pigment manufacturing processes, was detected in all the samples with more elevated proportions in the urban and rural areas than industrial park. Our results have revealed complex emission sources of PCBs in the study areas, including both historical (e.g., the past usage of imported PCB-containing oils and old electric equipment) and current sources such as releases from industrial activities and increasing use of new consumer products. Occupationally exposed persons (e.g., street sweepers, street vendors, and traffic policemen) and children in the urban and industrial areas were estimated to receive much higher doses of dust-bound PCBs than general population, suggesting the need for appropriate protection conditions.