PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB in Hong Kong air in relation to their regional transport in the Pearl River Delta region

Maggie P.K. Choi, Simon K.M. Ho, Benny K.L. So, Zongwei CAI, Alexis K.H. Lau, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB were measured in 142 air samples of Hong Kong. The annual average PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB concentrations obtained for Hong Kong air at Tap Mun (PCDD/F: 1724 ± 1984; dioxin-like PCB: 1572 ± 1170 fg m-3), Yuen Long (PCDD/F: 2927 ± 2695; dioxin-like PCB: 4331 ± 1962 fg m-3) and Tsuen Wan (PCDD/F: 1875 ± 1502; dioxin-like PCB: 2972 ± 1510 fg m-3) from January 2004 to March 2005 were comparable to other urban centers around the world and were within the Japanese and USA ambient air quality guidelines. A clear seasonal pattern was observed for PCDD/F, generally with a 50-60 times higher air concentration in winter when background northerly wind was weaker and land-sea breeze prevailed, resulting in regional transport; and a lower concentration in summer, due to the inflow of clean oceanic southeasterly wind from the South China Sea. A higher WHO-TEQ value of dioxin-like PCB (mainly attributed to the relatively higher WHO-TEQ value of PCB 126) in Yuen Long during winter, compared with other months, could also be related to the regional transport by the winter monsoon wind and the low mixing height in winter. Spatially, air concentrations of PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB demonstrated a west-to-east gradient (with Yuen Long > Tsuen Wan > Tap Mun). It is suggested that PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB were transported into the western airshed of Hong Kong from the Pearl River Delta by land-sea breeze circulation and confined to the northwestern part, due to the blocking effect of the northwestern airshed in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Land-sea breeze
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Seasonal pattern
  • Spatial variation


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