Organophosphate Esters in Air, Snow, and Seawater in the North Atlantic and the Arctic


The concentrations of eight organophosphate esters (OPEs) have been investigated in air, snow and seawater samples collected during the cruise of ARK-XXVIII/2 from sixth June to third July 2014 across the North Atlantic and the Arctic. The sum of gaseous and particle concentrations (ΣOPE) ranged from 35 to 343 pg/m3. The three chlorinated OPEs accounted for 88 ± 5% of the ΣOPE. The most abundant OPE was tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), with concentrations ranging from 30 to 227 pg/m3, followed by three major OPEs, such as tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP, 0.8 to 82 pg/m3), tri-n-butyl phosphate (TnBP, 2 to 19 pg/m3), and tri-iso-butyl phosphate (TiBP, 0.3 to 14 pg/m3). The ΣOPE concentrations in snow and seawater ranged from 4356 to 10561 pg/L and from 348 to 8396 pg/L, respectively. The atmospheric particle-bound dry depositions of TCEP ranged from 2 to 12 ng/m2/day. The air–seawater gas exchange fluxes were dominated by net volatilization from seawater to air for TCEP (mean, 146 ± 239 ng/m2/day), TCPP (mean, 1670 ± 3031 ng/m2/day), TiBP (mean, 537 ± 581 ng/m2/day) and TnBP (mean, 230 ± 254 ng/m2/day). This study highlighted that OPEs are subject to long-range transport via both air and seawater from the European continent and seas to the North Atlantic and the Arctic.
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