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Toxaphene Deposition to Lake Ontario via Precipitation, 1994−1998

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2005, 00:00 by Deborah A. Burniston, William M. J. Strachan, Robert J. Wilkinson
Precipitation samples collected continuously at Point Petre on Lake Ontario from November 1994 through December 1998 were analyzed for total toxaphene (=sum of hexa-, hepta-, octa-, and nonachloro bornanes) and chlorobornane congeners (1997−98 only). Composite triplicate samples were collected during 4-week intervals throughout the 4-year study using heated wet-only samplers. These results represent the first detailed data for toxaphene in Great Lakes precipitation. Seasonal volume-weighted mean concentrations for total toxaphene in precipitation ranged from 0.25 to 1.5 ng/L. Highest concentrations were found during the four spring (March−May) periods at roughly twice the annual means. The pattern for hexa- through nona-homologues over the 4 years did not vary appreciably with average ratios (relative to hepta-) of 0.08:1.0:1.3:0.2. The volume-weighted mean concentrations for individual chlorobornane congeners were consistent in their season pattern with maximums seen in the spring. The major chlorobornane in precipitation, B8-2229 (Parlar 44), which was present at concentrations ranging from 0.016 to 0.079 ng/L, constituted 28 and 29% of the congener sum for 1997 and 1998, respectively. Lakewide loadings of toxaphene for Lake Ontario via precipitation were estimated to be 12, 17, 12, and 13 kg/year for 1995−1998, respectively. Previous toxaphene loading estimates were calculated for the individual Great Lakes on the basis of the only concentration data available, a single precipitation estimate of 0.2 ng/L from early work in northwestern Ontario. The loading estimates in this study indicate that precipitation inputs of toxaphene are 3−4 times higher than previously reported for Lake Ontario. The 1998 estimates of Lake Ontario wet deposition flux are 50% of the estimated gas deposition flux. However, wet flux values from this study exceed the net gas-phase mass transfer of toxaphene across the air−water interface.

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