Superfund Research Program
Sources of Airborne PCB Congeners
In the last year, the Sources of Airborne PCB Congeners Project coauthored three peer-reviewed papers, submitted three manuscripts that are now under peer-review, and continued three major studies of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) emissions and contamination in communities. The first publication described the development of polymeric electrospun nanofiber mats (ENMs) for equilibrium passive sampling applications in water. Another publication examined the complex chromatographic signals in Chicago air samples using an electrical engineering approach to signal processing. The last publication is a collaboration with Boston University and reports the health risks associated with the emission of PCBs from the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site. The first manuscript in review reports new findings from the group’s eight-year study of airborne PCBs in the city of Chicago and surrounding communities. The second manuscript in review reports findings from a collaboration with the Global Atmospheric Pollutants Study (GAPS) at Environment Canada. This collaboration continues as the group examines modeled and measured wind speed data as predictors for the GAPS samples. They also completed a major study that measured and interpreted PCB congeners in ten rooms of a rural Iowa school. This study was supported by the Data Management and Analysis Core and the Analytical Core. It shows that both Aroclor and non-Aroclor sources of airborne PCBs are present in the schools and those sources differ from room to room. They initiated several new studies in collaboration with The AESOP Study: Airborne Exposures to Semi-volatile Organic Pollutants Project, including a study of the effect of dredging a contaminated harbor on the measured levels of airborne PCBs in East Chicago, Indiana and a study of PCBs in East Chicago soils.