Stockholm Convention organochlorine pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Hong Kong air

M. P.K. Choi, Y. H. Kang, X. L. Peng, K. W. Ng, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) including eight of the original nine pesticides listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in 90 air samples collected from January 2004 to March 2005, and in 304 air samples collected from January 1998 to December 2005 in Hong Kong, respectively. The annual average OCP concentrations at Tap Mun, Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan were 135 ± 140 (ND-482), 186 ± 183 (ND-656), and 190 ± 239 fg m-3 (ND-966), respectively, while annual (January 1998 to December 2005) average concentrations of total PAHs at Tsuen Wan, and Central/Western were 578 ± 261 (117-938) and 588 ± 248 ng m-3 (103-874), respectively. No seasonal and spatial variations in OCP concentrations were observed due to trace levels, and estimation of carcinogenic risks of OC pesticides was low. Naphthalene (>70%) was the dominant PAH in terms of concentrations measured. The sum of three-ring PAHs, including acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, anthracene, fluorene and phenanthrene, contributed to around 20% of the total PAH concentration while the contribution of heavier PAHs (sum of four-, five- and six-rings) was less than 5%. t-Values of the paired samples T-test for the individual PAHs showed that the concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene, the relative high cancer risk PAH, and most of the PAHs detected at Tsuen Wan and Central/Western were significantly different (p < 0.01), with higher concentrations detected at Tsuen Wan. Several PAHs exhibited strong seasonality with higher concentrations in winter. Sources of PAHs were determined by investigating PAH isomer ratios which suggested petrogenic sources as primary sources of PAHs in Hong Kong air.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cancer risk
  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Seasonal variation
  • Spatial variation


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