Unintentionally produced persistent organic pollutants (UP-POPs) were determined in ambient air from around five secondary non-ferrous metal processing plants in China, to investigate the potential impacts of the emissions of these plants on their surrounding environments. The target compounds were polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), and polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs). The PCDD/F, dl-PCB, and PCN concentrations in the ambient air downwind of the plants were 4.70-178, 8.23-7520 and 152-4190 pg/m(3), respectively, and the concentrations upwind of the plants were lower. Clear correlations were found between ambient air and stack gas concentrations of the PCDD/Fs, dl-PCBs, and PCNs among the five plants, respectively. Furthermore, the UP-POPs homolog and congener patterns in the ambient air were similar to the patterns in the stack gas samples. These results indicate that UP-POPs emissions from the plants investigated have obvious impacts on the environments surrounding the plants.
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