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Occurrence, distribution and sources of polychlorinated biphenyls at selected industrial sites in Turkey

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2010
Gedik, Kadir
In this study, the occurrence and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were investigated via sampling studies conducted around a thermal power plant (Seyitömer, Kütahya), a scrap metal yard (Kızılırmak, Kırıkkale), transformer repair and maintenance facility (Lake Eymir, Ankara), and two organized industrial districts (ızmit and Mersin), and 120 samples composed mainly of sediments were collected from those sites. Total PCBs ranged from not detected to 385 ng/g for all samples. Analysis of samples indicates enrichment of PCBs with special emphasis to sediments collected around the Seyitömer thermal power plant. Congener specific results indicate domination of profiles by penta- and hexa-chlorobiphenyls. Overall, the PCB concentrations observed in sampling sites are comparable to the background levels of soil/sediments around the world. To identify relevant pollution sources, congener specific data were further evaluated in the subsequent process of source apportionment using Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) receptor model. A general overview of the source apportionment results indicate that equipments (transformers and capacitors) mainly used in the energy generation/transmission and high energy consuming industries as the major PCB sources. PCBs used in open applications were also predicted as sources depending on site characteristics. Overall, indications of contaminated sites are evident in a number of locations; yet, no major contamination is evident in any media according to the current relevant national regulatory actions. However, findings of this study suggest that, over expanded time exposure, threat to the environment and human health may be of concern.