Occurrence, profile and possible sources of PCNs in Hong Kong soils, and a comparison with PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs

Guorui Liu, Minghui Zheng, Zongwei CAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) have been proposed for inclusion in the annexes of the Stockholm Convention by the European Union, signifying a probable increase in monitoring PCN levels at a global level. Investigations on PCN levels in the environment of Hong Kong have not been reported. In this preliminary investigation, PCN levels in surface soils samples were determined by isotope dilution HRGC/HRMS techniques, and compared with those of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs). The concentrations of PCNs in the soil samples were 35–883 pg g−1 (average, 201; and median, 94 pg g−1), which were lower than those of PCBs PCDDs and PCDFs. This comparison suggested that PCNs are currently not priority POPs compared with dioxins and PCBs in Hong Kong soils. PCDDs were the most important contributor to the sum of toxic equivalents of PCNs, PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs. OCDD was the most dominant dioxin congener in Hong Kong surface soils. PCB-118 was the most abundant in 12 dl-PCB congeners. PCN congeners indicating thermal related sources (CN52/60, CN66/67 and CN73) were relatively abundant in their respective homologs, which suggested PCN contamination from thermal sources. The ratio of CN73 to CN74 in soil samples suggested the contribution of PCN contaminations in soils from both thermal-related sources and evaporative emissions of technical PCN mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13656-13663
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • PCDD/Fs
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)
  • Stockholm Convention


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