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Title: The distribution of chlorinated solvents in the air and foliage of three British forests
Author: Brown, Ruth Helen Alison
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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Volatile C1 and C2 chlorinated hydrocarbons and their oxidative degradation products are possible contributors to forest decline in Europe and north America. These species originate from both natural and anthropogenic sources, the latter including use as solvents and degreasers within the chemical, dry-cleaning and nuclear industries. Concentrations have been reported in central European forest air, soil and foliage, but no measurements have been made in the UK. This study presents the temporal and spatial distribution of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (C2H3Cl3), tetrachloromethane (CCl4), trichloroethene (C2HCl3) and tetrachloroethene (C2Cl4) in air and foliage of three northern UK forests over a 15 month period. Potential sources were identified as petrochemical industry at Grangemouth (Central Region, Scotland) and the nuclear reprocessing complex at BNFL plc. Sellafield (Cumbria, England). A 'clean' site (Grampian, Scotland) was included for comparison. The tree species monitored was Pinus sylvestris (L.). Air measurements were made using novel passive diffusion samplers containing an extract of Pinus sylvestris (L.) wax exposed to the atmosphere for approximately one month. Analysis of the tubes and composite needle samples used solvent extraction and quantitative capillary gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Complementary GC-MSMS was used qualitatively. The needle concentrations found were similar to those of central Europe, and were log-normally distributed. Geometric mean concentrations (ng/g dry weight) were C2H3Cl3 20; CCl4 5; C2HCl3 130; C2Cl4 30. There was no statistically significant difference at the 95% level between median concentrations at the three sites, or between the 1992 and 1993 needle year classes. The geometric standard deviation of 2-3 was typical of other gaseous pollutants, and the vertical profile through the canopy at Devilla forest suggested an atmospheric source.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available