Occurrence and dry deposition of organophosphate esters in atmospheric particles over the northern South China Sea


Nine organophosphate esters (OPEs) in airborne particles were measured during a cruise campaign over the northern South China Sea (SCS) from September to October 2013. The concentration of the total OPEs (∑OPEs) was 47.1–160.9 pg m−3, which are lower than previous measurements in marine atmosphere environments. Higher OPE concentrations were observed in terrestrially influenced samples, suggesting that OPE concentrations were significantly influenced by air mass transport. Chlorinated OPEs were the dominant OPEs, accounting for 65.8–83.7% of the ∑OPEs. Tris-(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) was the predominant OPE compound in the samples (45.0 ± 12.1%), followed by tris-(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphates (TCPPs) (28.8 ± 8.9%). Dry particle-bound deposition fluxes ranged from 8.2 to 27.8 ng m−2 d−1 for the ∑OPEs. Moreover, the dry deposition input of the ∑OPEs was estimated to be 4.98 ton y−1 in 2013 in a vast area of northern SCS. About half of the input was found to relate to air masses originating from China.
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