Increases in ambient PCDD/F and PCB concentrations in Northern Taiwan during an Asian dust storm episode

Kai Hsien Chi, Shih Chieh Hsu, Sheng Hsiang Wang, Moo Been Chang

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39 Scopus citations


In spring 2006, an Asian dust storm (ADS) that originated in the deserts of Mongolia and China eventually reached populated areas of East Asia, including Taiwan. The concentrations of total suspended particles (TSP), vapor/solid-phase dioxin-like compounds and metal content in atmospheric aerosols were monitored at two sampling sites in northern Taiwan during the ADS episode: one along the northern coast (Site A), and the other in Taipei city (Site B). The ADS swept across northern Taiwan from 13 March to 19 March, 2006. Data indicate that the atmospheric dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran (PCDD/F, 32.2 to 52.5 fg-I-TEQ/m3) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB, 2.23 to 4.49 fg-TEQWHO/m3) concentrations measured at the two sampling sites prior to the ADS episode were considerably lower than those measured in other Asian countries. However, measurements made at both sites on 13 and 18 March 2006 indicate that the atmospheric PCDD/F and PCB concentrations increased 2.5 and 3.2 times at Site A, and 2.1 and 1.9 times at Site B, respectively, during the ADS episode. The concentrations of aluminum (Al), potassium (K) and Titanium (Ti) in atmospheric aerosols were also found to increase about 2 to 5 times during this period. As no specific dioxin emission sources exist within nearly 20 km of Site A, the increase in PCDD/F and PCB concentrations observed there is likely to be related to the ADS from mainland China. Additionally, the amount of PCDD/Fs bound to suspended particles increased from 257-259 to 339-512 pg-I-TEQ/g-TSP during the ADS episode. The distribution of OCDD congener observed in Taipei city increased dramatically during the ADS episode, however, the distribution of PCB congener did not vary significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2008


  • Aerosol
  • Ambient air
  • Dioxin
  • Long range transport
  • Sand storm


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