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Locating and Quantifying PCB Sources in Chicago:  Receptor Modeling and Field Sampling

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journal contribution
posted on 15.01.2003, 00:00 by Ying-Kuang Hsu, Thomas M. Holsen, Philip K. Hopke
Potential source contribution function (PSCF) modeling using polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations measured in the Chicago area resolved three PCB source sectors. They were (i) the direction northwest of Chicago, (ii) the direction southwest of Chicago, and (iii) the south side of Chicago in the neighborhood of Lake Calumet. The area south of Chicago was further examined by taking upwind/downwind samples near a landfill and sludge drying beds. Results identified the sludge drying beds and a large landfill as PCB sources to the atmosphere. Another PCB source identified in Chicago was a transformer storage yard. This site had the highest upwind/downwind concentration increments in this study (downwind PCB concentrations were more than 5 times those in the upwind air). These PCB sources were characterized in terms of inventories, emission rates, contributions, and PCB congener profiles (fingerprints). Preliminarily results indicate that the sludge may emit up to 90 kg/yr of PCBs to the air. This amount is probably not a significant contribution of PCBs to the Chicago atmosphere on the basis of dispersion modeling results and a simple box model.