Publications by authors named "Roman Prokeš"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Dynamic passive sampling of hydrophobic organic compounds in surface seawater along the South Atlantic Ocean east-to-west transect and across the Black Sea.

Mar Pollut Bull 2021 Jul 22;168:112375. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, RECETOX, Kamenice 753/3, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Mapping of hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) in surface seawater on an east-to-west transect of the South Atlantic Ocean (SAO) and across the Black Sea (BS) in 2016 was performed by a dynamic passive sampling device containing silicone-based passive samplers. In SAO as well as in BS the measurements confirmed freely dissolved concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and its metabolites, chlorobenzenes, cyclodiene pesticides, and brominated flame retardants in the range of units to low hundreds of pg per litre. The findings indicate that the spatial distribution of HOCs and emerging pollutants in the SAO and the BS is influenced by riverine inputs, ocean currents and atmospheric deposition from continental plumes. Observed concentration gradients indicate that eastern SAO receives DDT from sources in South Africa, whereas the emissions of endosulfan originate in South America. Elevated HOC concentrations in the northwestern BS are related to their discharge by rivers from the European continent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112375DOI Listing
July 2021

Three years of atmospheric concentrations of nitrated and oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and oxygen heterocycles at a central European background site.

Chemosphere 2021 Apr 26;269:128738. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

RECETOX Centre, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany. Electronic address:

Nitrated and oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs, OPAHs) are abundant in the atmosphere and contribute significantly to the health risk associated with inhalation of polluted air. Despite the health hazard they pose, NPAHs and OPAHs were rarely included in monitoring. The aim of this study is to provide the first multi-year temporal trends of the concentrations, composition pattern and fate of NPAHs and OPAHs in air from a site representative of background air quality conditions in central Europe. Samples were collected every second week at a rural background site in the Czech Republic during 2015-2017. Concentrations ranged from 1.3 to 160 pg m for ΣNPAHs, from 32 to 2600 pg m for ΣOPAHs and from 5.1 to 4300 pg m for ΣO-heterocycles. The average particulate mass fraction (θ) ranged from 0.01 ± 0.02 (2-nitronaphthalene) to 0.83 ± 0.22 (1-nitropyrene) for individual NPAHs and from <0.01 ± 0.01 (dibenzofuran) to 0.96 ± 0.08 (6H-benzo (c,d)pyren-6-one) for individual OPAHs and O-heterocycles. The multiyear variations showed downward trends for a number of targeted compounds. This suggests that on-going emission reductions of PAHs are effective also for co-emitted NPAHs and OPAHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128738DOI Listing
April 2021

Temporal Trends of Persistent Organic Pollutants across Africa after a Decade of MONET Passive Air Sampling.

Environ Sci Technol 2020 Oct 23. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

The Global Monitoring Plan of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was established to generate long-term data necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of regulatory measures at a global scale. After a decade of passive air monitoring (2008-2019), MONET is the first network to produce sufficient data for the analysis of long-term temporal trends of POPs in the African atmosphere. This study reports concentrations of 20 POPs (aldrin, chlordane, chlordecone, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, endosulfan, HBCDD, HCB, HCHs, heptachlor, hexabromobiphenyl, mirex, PBDEs, PCBs, PCDDs, PCDFs, PeCB, PFOA, and PFOS) monitored in 9 countries (Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, and Sudan). As of January 1, 2019, concentrations were in the following ranges (pg/m): 0.5-37.7 (∑PCB), 0.006-0.724 (∑PCDD/F), 0.05-5.5 (∑PBDE), 0.6-11.3 (BDE 209), 0.1-1.8 (∑HBCDD), 1.8-138 (∑DDT), 0.1-24.3 (∑endosulfan), 0.6-14.6 (∑HCH), 9.1-26.4 (HCB), 13.8-18.2 (PeCB). Temporal trends indicate that concentrations of many POPs (PCBs, DDT, HCHs, endosulfan) have declined significantly over the past 10 years, though the rate was slow at some sites. Concentrations of other POPs such as PCDD/Fs and PBDEs have not changed significantly over the past decade and are in fact increasing at some sites, attributed to the prevalence of open burning of waste (particularly e-waste) across Africa. Modeled airflow back-trajectories suggest that the elevated concentrations at some sites are primarily due to sustained local emissions, while the low concentrations measured at Mt. Kenya represent the continental background level and are primarily influenced by long-range transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c03575DOI Listing
October 2020

Nitrated monoaromatic hydrocarbons (nitrophenols, nitrocatechols, nitrosalicylic acids) in ambient air: levels, mass size distributions and inhalation bioaccessibility.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Jun 11. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany.

Nitrated monoaromatic hydrocarbons (NMAHs) are ubiquitous in the environment and an important part of atmospheric humic-like substances (HULIS) and brown carbon. They are ecotoxic and with underresearched toxic potential for humans. NMAHs were determined in size-segregated ambient particulate matter collected at two urban sites in central Europe, Ostrava and Kladno, Czech Republic. The average sums of 12 NMAHs (ΣNMAH) measured in winter PM samples from Ostrava and Kladno were 102 and 93 ng m, respectively, and 8.8 ng m in summer PM samples from Ostrava. The concentrations in winter corresponded to 6.3-7.3% and 2.6-3.1% of HULIS-C and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC), respectively. Nitrocatechols represented 67-93%, 61-73% and 28-96% of NMAHs in PM samples collected in winter and summer at Ostrava and in winter at Kladno, respectively. The mass size distribution of the targeted substance classes peaked in the submicrometre size fractions (PM), often in the PM size fraction especially in summer. The bioaccessible fraction of NMAHs was determined by leaching PM samples in two simulated lung fluids, Gamble's solution and artificial lysosomal fluid (ALF). More than half of NMAH mass is found bioaccessible, almost complete for nitrosalicylic acids. The bioaccessible fraction was generally higher when using ALF (mimics the chemical environment created by macrophage activity, pH 4.5) than Gamble's solution (pH 7.4). Bioaccessibility may be negligible for lipophilic substances (i.e. log K > 4.5).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09540-3DOI Listing
June 2020

Multi-year atmospheric concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) at a background site in central Europe.

Environ Pollut 2020 Oct 24;265(Pt B):114851. Epub 2020 May 24.

Masaryk University, RECETOX Centre, Kamenice 5, 625 00, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

A total of 74 high volume air samples were collected at a background site in Czech Republic from 2012 to 2014 in which the concentrations of 20 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were investigated. The total concentrations (gas + particle phase) ranged from 0.03 to 2.08 pg m (average 0.52 pg m) for the sum of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (∑PFCAs), from 0.02 to 0.85 pg m (average 0.28 pg m) for the sum of perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (ΣPFSAs) and from below detection to 0.18 pg m (average 0.05 pg m) for the sum of perfluorooctane sulfonamides and sulfonamidoethanols (ΣFOSA/Es). The gas phase concentrations of most PFASs were not controlled by temperature dependent sources but rather by long-range atmospheric transport. Air mass backward trajectory analysis showed that the highest concentrations of PFASs were mainly originating from continental areas. The average particle fractions (θ) of ΣPFCAs (θ = 0.74 ± 0.26) and ΣPFSAs (θ = 0.78 ± 0.22) were higher compared to ΣFOSA/Es (θ = 0.31 ± 0.35). However, they may be subject to sampling artefacts. This is the first study ever reporting PFASs concentrations in air samples collected over consecutive years. Significant decreases in 2012-2014 for PFOA, MeFOSE, EtFOSE and ∑PFCAs were observed with apparent half-lives of 1.01, 0.86, 0.92 and 1.94 years, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7585738PMC
October 2020

Oxygenated and Nitrated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Ambient Air-Levels, Phase Partitioning, Mass Size Distributions, and Inhalation Bioaccessibility.

Environ Sci Technol 2020 03 11;54(5):2615-2625. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany.

Among the nitrated and oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs and OPAHs) are some of the most hazardous substances to public health, mainly because of their carcinogenicity and oxidative potential. Despite these concerns, the concentrations and fate of NPAHs and OPAHs in the atmospheric environment are largely unknown. Ambient air concentrations of 18 NPAHs, 5 quinones, and 5 other OPAHs were determined at two urban and one regional background sites in central Europe. At one of the urban sites, the total (gas and particulate) concentrations of ΣOPAHs were 10.0 ± 9.2 ng/m in winter and 3.5 ± 1.6 ng/m in summer. The gradient to the regional background site exceeded 1 order of magnitude. ΣNPAH concentrations were typically 1 order of magnitude lower than OPAHs. Among OPAHs, 9-fluorenone and (9,10)-anthraquinone were the most abundant species, accompanied by benzanthrone in winter. (9,10)-Anthraquinone represented two-thirds of quinones. We found that a large fraction of the target substance particulate mass was carried by submicrometer particles. The derived inhalation bioaccessibility in the PM size fraction is found to be ≈5% of the total ambient concentration of OPAHs and up to ≈2% for NPAHs. For 9-fluorenone and (9,10)-anthraquinone, up to 86 and 18%, respectively, were found at the rural site. Our results indicate that water solubility could function as a limiting factor for bioaccessibility of inhaled particulate NPAHs and OPAHs, without considerable effect of surfactant lipids and proteins in the lung lining fluid.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b06820DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7307896PMC
March 2020

Multiyear levels of PCDD/Fs, dl-PCBs and PAHs in background air in central Europe and implications for deposition.

Chemosphere 2020 Feb 14;240:124852. Epub 2019 Sep 14.

Masaryk University, RECETOX, Kamenice 5, 625 00, Brno, Czech Republic.

This study presents four years ambient monitoring data of seventeen 2,3,7,8-chlorine substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), twelve dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) designed by the US EPA at a background site in central Europe during 2011-2014. The concentrations expressed as toxic equivalents (TEQs) using the WHO-scheme for PCDD/Fs (0.2 fg m-61.1 fg m) were higher than for dl-PCBs (0.01 fg m-2.9 fg m), while the opposite was found in terms of mass concentrations. ΣPAHs ranged from 0.20 ng m to 134 ng m. The mass concentration profile of PCDD/Fs, dl-PCBs and PAHs was similar throughout the four years. PCDD/Fs and PAHs concentrations were dominated by primary sources peaking in winter, while those of dl-PCBs were controlled by secondary sources characterized by a spring-summer peak. During 2011-2014, no significant decrease in the atmospheric levels of ΣPCDD/Fs was observed. On the other hand, the concentrations of Σdl-PCBs and ΣPAHs were decreasing, with halving times of 5.7 and 2.7 years, respectively. We estimated that 422 pg m year-567 pg m year TEQ PCDD/Fs and 3.48 pg m year-15.8 pg m year TEQ dl-PCBs were transferred from the air to the ground surfaces via dry particulate deposition during 2011-2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124852DOI Listing
February 2020

Fast Formation of Nitro-PAHs in the Marine Atmosphere Constrained in a Regional-Scale Lagrangian Field Experiment.

Environ Sci Technol 2019 Aug 10;53(15):8914-8924. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

Masaryk University , Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment , Kamenice 5 , 625 00 , Brno , Czech Republic.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and some of their nitrated derivatives, NPAHs, are seemingly ubiquitous in the atmospheric environment. Atmospheric lifetimes may nevertheless vary within a wide range, and be as short as a few hours. The sources and sinks of NPAH in the atmosphere are not well understood. With a Lagrangian field experiment and modeling, we studied the conversion of the semivolatile PAHs fluoranthene and pyrene into the 2-nitro derivatives 2-nitrofluoranthene and 2-nitropyrene in a cloud-free marine atmosphere on the time scale of hours to 1 day between a coastal and an island site. Chemistry and transport during several episodes was simulated by a Lagrangian box model i.e., a box model coupled to a Lagrangian particle dispersion model, FLEXPART-WRF. It is found that the chemical kinetic data do capture photochemical degradation of the 4-ring PAHs under ambient conditions on the time scale of hours to 1 day, while the production of the corresponding NPAH, which sustained 2-nitrofluoranthene/fluoranthene and 2-nitropyrene/pyrene yields of (3.7 ± 0.2) and (1.5 ± 0.1)%, respectively, is by far underestimated. Predicted levels of NPAH come close to observed ones, when kinetic data describing the reactivity of the OH-adduct were explored by means of theoretically based estimates. Predictions are also underestimated by 1-2 orders of magnitude, when NPAH/PAH yields reported from laboratory experiments conducted under high NO conditions are adopted for the simulations. It is concluded that NPAH sources effective under low NO conditions, are largely underestimated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b03090DOI Listing
August 2019

Bulk atmospheric deposition of persistent organic pollutants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Central Europe.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Aug 14;26(23):23429-23441. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are ubiquitous and toxic contaminants. Their atmospheric deposition fluxes on the regional scale were quantified based on simultaneous sampling during 1 to 5 years at 1 to 6 background/rural sites in the Czech Republic and Austria. The samples were extracted and analysed by means of gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. For all seasons and sites, total deposition fluxes for ΣPAHs ranged 23-1100 ng m d, while those for Σ6PCBs and Σ12OCPs ranged 64-4400 and 410-7800 pg m d, respectively. Fluoranthene and pyrene were the main contributors to the PAH deposition fluxes, accounting on average for 19% each, while deposition fluxes of PCBs and OCPs were dominated by PCB153 (26%) and γ-hexachlorobenzene (30%), respectively. The highest deposition flux of ΣPAHs was generally found in spring, while no seasonality was found for PCB deposition. For deposition fluxes for ΣOCPs, no clear spatial trend was found, confirming the perception of long-lived regional pollutants. Although most OCPs and PCBs hardly partition to the particulate phase in ambient air, on average, 42% of their deposition fluxes were found on filters, confirming the perception that particle deposition is more efficient than dry gaseous deposition. Due to methodological constraints, fluxes derived from bulk deposition samplers should be understood as lower estimates, in particular with regard to those substances which in ambient aerosols mostly partition to the particulate phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05464-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6667414PMC
August 2019

Linking past uses of legacy SVOCs with today's indoor levels and human exposure.

Environ Int 2019 06 13;127:653-663. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Department of Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, Slovak Medical University, Limbová 12, 83303 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) emitted from consumer products, building materials, and indoor and outdoor activities can be highly persistent in indoor environments. Human exposure to and environmental contamination with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was previously reported in a region near a former PCB production facility in Slovakia. However, we found that the indoor residential PCB levels did not correlate with the distance from the facility. Rather, indoor levels in this region and those reported in the literature were related to the historic PCB use on a national scale and the inferred presence of primary sources of PCBs in the homes. Other SVOCs had levels linked with either the activities in the home, e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with wood heating; or outdoor activities, e.g., organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) with agricultural land use and building age. We propose a classification framework to prioritize SVOCs for monitoring in indoor environments and to evaluate risks from indoor SVOC exposures. Application of this framework to 88 measured SVOCs identified several PCB congeners (CB-11, -28, -52), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), benzo(a)pyrene, and γ-HCH as priority compounds based on high exposure and toxicity assessed by means of toxicity reference values (TRVs). Application of the framework to many emerging compounds such as novel flame retardants was not possible because of either no or outdated TRVs. Concurrent identification of seven SVOC groups in indoor environments provided information on their comparative levels and distributions, their sources, and informed our assessment of associated risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Chasing equilibrium passive sampling of hydrophobic organic compounds in water.

Sci Total Environ 2019 May 24;664:424-435. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Kamenice 753/5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

We investigated a combination of approaches to extend the attainment of partition equilibria between silicone passive samplers (samplers) and surface or treated waste water towards more hydrophobic organic compounds (HOC). The aim was to identify the HOC hydrophobicity range for which silicone sampler equilibration in water is feasible within a reasonable sampler deployment period. Equilibrium partitioning of HOC between sampler and water is desirable for a simpler application as a "chemometer", aiming to compare chemical activity gradients across environmental media (e.g. water, sediment, biota). The tested approaches included a) long sampler exposure periods and high water flow to maximize mass transfer from water to sampler; b) the use of samplers with reduced sheet thicknesses; and c) pre-equilibration of samplers with local bottom sediment, followed by their exposure in surface water at the same sampling site. These approaches were tested at three sites including a fish pond with a low level of pollution, a river impacted by an urban agglomeration and an effluent of municipal wastewater treatment plant. Tested compounds included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), DDT, its metabolites and their isomers, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). The study shows that samplers with a surface area of 400-800 cm consisting of thin (100-500 μm) silicone sheets exposed at sampling rates of 10-40 L d for a time period of up to four months reach partition equilibrium with water for compounds with log K ≤ 5.5. Nevertheless, for compounds beyond this limit it is challenging, within a reasonable time period, to reach equilibrium between sampler and water in an open system where water boundary layer resistance controls the mass transfer. For more hydrophobic HOC (log K > 6), the kinetic method using performance reference compounds is recommended instead.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.242DOI Listing
May 2019

PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in indoor environments - A comparison of indoor contamination in Canada and Czech Republic.

Chemosphere 2018 Sep 3;206:622-631. Epub 2018 May 3.

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, Pavilion A29, 62500, Brno, Czech Republic.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are restricted compounds that are ubiquitously detected in the environment, including indoor matrices such as air and residential dust. We report concentrations of PCBs and selected OCPs in indoor air and dust from homes in Canada (23 homes) and Czech Republic (20 homes). Indoor air concentrations of PCBs and OCPs were ∼10 times higher than that outdoors. PCB concentrations of ∼450 ng/m were similar in both countries, higher in homes built before the restrictions on PCBs, and had congener profiles consistent with PCB mixtures manufactured or used in each country. All OCP air concentrations were higher in the Czech Republic than in the Canadian samples, suggesting greater indoor use of, for example, DDT and HCH. These data emphasize the persistence of these organochlorine compounds indoors and their presence in homes even decades after new usage was prohibited. Indoor levels of these legacy POPs remain at similar concentrations to compounds of current concern, such as brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated alkyl substances, emphasizing that they deserve ongoing attention in view of knowledge of PCB and OCP toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.05.016DOI Listing
September 2018

Organochlorine pesticides in the indoor air of a theatre and museum in the Czech Republic: Inhalation exposure and cancer risk.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Dec 27;609:598-606. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Kamenice 753/5, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic.

Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have been used to preserve the integrity of historical buildings or to protect collections of artefacts at potentially large volumes and often without detailed application records. Previous research has focused on the efficiency of remediation at contaminated sites (where identified), as well as improvement of preservation techniques and workplace health and safety. Few studies have assessed the human health risks from occupational exposure to OCPs in buildings of cultural and historical importance. Thus, potential risks may remain unidentified. In the present study, OCPs in indoor air were measured in a baroque theatre and a natural history museum in the Czech Republic, both of which had suspected past indoor application. In the theatre attic p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) levels in air were up to 190ngm, confirming past indoor use of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDT). There was also evidence of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) use in the theatre (max γ-HCH in air of 56ngm). Yet, the cancer risk (CR) from occupational exposure via inhalation (Exp) to OCPs in the theatre was low (CR<4.0×10). γ-HCH was found at elevated levels in air of the museum (max γ-HCH in air of 15,000ngm). CR from Exp in the museum was moderate to high (>1×10). Our results show the CR through Exp to OCPs in buildings, such as museums can still be significant enough to warrant mitigation measures, e.g., remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.203DOI Listing
December 2017

Organophosphate esters flame retardants in the indoor environment.

Environ Int 2017 09;106:97-104

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, pavilion A29, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Concentrations of 13 organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPEs) were measured in air, dust and window wipes from 63 homes in Canada, the Czech Republic and the United States in the spring and summer of 2013 to look for abundances, differences among regions, and partitioning behavior. In general, we observed the highest concentrations for halogenated OPEs, particularly TCEP, TCIPP and TDCIPP, and also non-halogenated TPHP. Differences between regions strongly depended on the matrix. The concentrations of OPEs in dust were significantly higher in the US than in Canada (CAN) and Czech Republic (CZ). CZ had the highest concentrations in window film and CAN in air. ΣOPE concentrations were 2-3 and 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than ΣBFRs in air, and dust and window films, respectively. We found a significant relationship between the concentrations in dust and air, and between the concentrations in window film and air for OPEs with log K values <12, suggesting that equilibrium was reached for these compounds but not for those with log K>12. This hypothesis was confirmed by a large discrepancy between values predicted using a partitioning model and the measured values for OPEs with log K values >12.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2017.05.020DOI Listing
September 2017

Bioluminescent Assays in the Assessment of Seasonal and Spatial Patterns in Toxicity of Contaminated River Sediments.

Front Microbiol 2016 7;7:1738. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

Faculty of Science, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic.

Several bacteria-based assays, notably luminescence assays, are often used as environmental monitoring tool for toxicity in sediments that may serve as both sinks and secondary source of contamination in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we used 30-s kinetic bioassays based on to evaluate the toxicity associated to sediments from five localities with different contamination inputs (Morava River and its tributary Drevnice River in the south-eastern part of the Czech Republic). Toxicity assessed as half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC) over the course of a year-long sampling was compared in bottom sediments and freshly trapped particulate material. Standard approach based on testing of aqueous elutriates was compared with toxicity of whole sediments (contact suspension toxicity). Bottom sediments showed lower toxicity compared to freshly trapped suspended materials in all cases. On the other hand, standardized elutriates induced generally weaker effects than suspended sediments likely due to losses during the extraction process. Toxicity generally increased during winter reaching maximum peaks in early spring months in all five sites. Total organic carbon (TOC) was found to be highly correlated with toxic effects. Toxicity from sites with direct industrial and agricultural water inputs also correlated with concentrations of metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Single time point sampling followed by the extraction and testing of elutriates, do not truly reflect the spatial and temporal variability in natural sediments and may lead to underestimation of ecotoxic risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5097916PMC
November 2016

In situ calibration of three passive samplers for the monitoring of steroid hormones in wastewater.

Talanta 2016 Dec 27;161:405-412. Epub 2016 Aug 27.

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Kamenice 753/5, Brno, 625 00 Czech Republic. Electronic address:

In situ extraction of steroid hormones from waste water using adsorption-based integrative passive samplers represents a promising approach for their monitoring in water at ultra-trace concentrations. Three passive samplers, namely a POCIS, a Chemcatcher fitted with an Empore SDB-RPS disk, and an Empore SDB-RPS disk-based sampler with enhanced water flow, were calibrated in situ in treated municipal wastewater for the purpose of monitoring five estrogens (17-β-estradiol, 17-α-estradiol, 17-α-ethinylestradiol, estrone and estriol) at sub ng per litre concentrations. Uptake of steroids to samplers during 14-day exposure in wastewater was compared with steroid concentrations in daily collected composite water samples. Sampling rates were obtained from a numerical solution of first order uptake kinetics equations describing the uptake of compounds into a passive sampler over time. Mass transfer of steroids in the Chemcatcher fitted with naked Empore disks was more than two times faster than in the POCIS sampler. The uptake capacity of the applied Empore disk was not sufficient for integrative uptake of all tested steroids during the entire 14-day exposure. Time-weighted average concentrations of steroids estimated at concentrations in units of ngL using the in situ-calibrated samplers were within a factor of two from values obtained using composite water samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2016.08.068DOI Listing
December 2016

Perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) in household dust in Central Europe and North America.

Environ Int 2016 Sep 10;94:315-324. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/3, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Concentrations of 20 perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) were measured in dust samples from 41 homes in Canada, the Czech Republic, and United States in the spring-summer of 2013. The most frequently detected compounds were perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) had the highest concentrations of PFASs in all countries. PFOS median concentrations for the three countries were between 9.1 and 14.1ng/g, and PFOA medians ranged between 8.2 and 9.3ng/g. In general, concentrations in North America were higher than in the Czech Republic, which is consistent with usage patterns. No differences were found for perfluorooctane sulfonamides/sulfonamidoethanols (FOSA/Es) levels due to the low number of detections. Homologue profiles suggest that the shift from longer to shorter chain PFASs is more advanced in North America than in Europe. Significant relationships were found among individual homologues and between PFAS concentrations in dust and type of floor, number of people living in the house, and building age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2016.05.031DOI Listing
September 2016

Diurnal Variations of Air-Soil Exchange of Semivolatile Organic Compounds (PAHs, PCBs, OCPs, and PBDEs) in a Central European Receptor Area.

Environ Sci Technol 2016 Apr 30;50(8):4278-88. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry , Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany.

Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in air and soil, their fugacities, and the experimental soil-air partitioning coefficient (KSA) were determined at two background sites in the Gt. Hungarian Plain in August 2013. The concentrations of the semivolatile organic compounds (SOCs) in the soil were not correlated with the organic carbon content but with two indirect parameters of mineralization and aromaticity, suggesting that soil organic matter quality is an important parameter affecting the sorption of SOCs onto soils. Predictions based on the assumption that absorption is the dominant process were in good agreement with the measurements for PAHs, OCPs, and the low chlorinated PCBs. In general, soils were found to be a source of PAHs, high chlorinated PCBs, the majority of OCPs and PBDEs, and a sink for the low chlorinated PCBs and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane. Diurnal variations in the direction of the soil-air exchange were found for two compounds (i.e., pentachlorobenzene and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane), with volatilization during the day and deposition in the night. The concentrations of most SOCs in the near-ground atmosphere were dominated by revolatilization from the soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b05671DOI Listing
April 2016

Sampling artifacts in active air sampling of semivolatile organic contaminants: Comparing theoretical and measured artifacts and evaluating implications for monitoring networks.

Environ Pollut 2016 Oct 30;217:97-106. Epub 2015 Dec 30.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5/753, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

The effects of sampling artifacts are often not fully considered in the design of air monitoring with active air samplers. Semivolatile organic contaminants (SVOCs) are particularly vulnerable to a range of sampling artifacts because of their wide range of gas-particle partitioning and degradation rates, and these can lead to erroneous measurements of air concentrations and a lack of comparability between sites with different environmental and sampling conditions. This study used specially adapted filter-sorbent sampling trains in three types of active air samplers to investigate breakthrough of SVOCs, and the possibility of other sampling artifacts. Breakthrough volumes were experimentally determined for a range of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sampling volumes from 300 to 10,000 m(3), and sampling durations of 1-7 days. In parallel, breakthrough was estimated based on theoretical sorbent-vapor pressure relationships. The comparison of measured and theoretical determinations of breakthrough demonstrated good agreement between experimental and estimated breakthrough volumes, and showed that theoretical breakthrough estimates should be used when developing air monitoring protocols. Significant breakthrough in active air samplers occurred for compounds with vapor pressure >0.5 Pa at volumes <700 m(3). Sample volumes between 700 and 10,000 m(3) may lead to breakthrough for compounds with vapor pressures between 0.005 and 0.5 Pa. Breakthrough is largely driven by sample volume and compound volatility (therefore indirectly by temperature) and is independent of sampler type. The presence of significant breakthrough at "typical" sampling conditions is relevant for air monitoring networks, and may lead to under-reporting of more volatile SVOCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.12.015DOI Listing
October 2016

Long-range Atmospheric Transport of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons is Worldwide Problem - Results from Measurements at Remote Sites and Modelling.

Acta Chim Slov 2015 ;62(3):729-35

Despite the fact that the occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the atmospheric environment has been studied for decades the photochemistry, deposition and, consequently, the long-range transport potential (LRTP) are not well understood. The reason is gas-particle partitioning (GPP) in the aerosol, its sensitivity to temperature and particulate phase composition, and sampling artefacts', and reactivity's sensitivities towards particulate phase composition. Furthermore, most PAHs are subject to re-volatilisation upon deposition to surfaces (multihopping). Levels and sources of 2-6-ring unsubstituted PAHs were studied in remote environments of Europe, Africa and Antarctica. Global atmospheric transport and fate of 3-5-ring PAHs were simulated under various scenarios of photochemistry and GPP. GPP influences drastically the atmospheric lifetime, compartmental distributions and the LRTP of PAH. Mid latitude emissions seem to reach the Arctic but not the Antarctic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17344/acsi.2015.1387DOI Listing
October 2015

Air and seawater pollution and air-sea gas exchange of persistent toxic substances in the Aegean Sea: spatial trends of PAHs, PCBs, OCPs and PBDEs.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2015 Aug 25;22(15):11301-13. Epub 2015 Mar 25.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic,

Near-ground air (26 substances) and surface seawater (55 substances) concentrations of persistent toxic substances (PTS) were determined in July 2012 in a coordinated and coherent way around the Aegean Sea based on passive air (10 sites in 5 areas) and water (4 sites in 2 areas) sampling. The direction of air-sea exchange was determined for 18 PTS. Identical samplers were deployed at all sites and were analysed at one laboratory. hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) as well as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its degradation products are evenly distributed in the air of the whole region. Air concentrations of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and o,p'-DDT and seawater concentrations of p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDD were elevated in Thermaikos Gulf, northwestern Aegean Sea. The polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener pattern in air is identical throughout the region, while polybrominated diphenylether (PBDE)patterns are obviously dissimilar between Greece and Turkey. Various pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs, DDE, and penta- and hexachlorobenzene are found close to phase equilibrium or net-volatilisational (upward flux), similarly at a remote site (on Crete) and in the more polluted Thermaikos Gulf. The results suggest that effective passive air sampling volumes may not be representative across sites when PAHs significantly partitioning to the particulate phase are included.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4363-4DOI Listing
August 2015

Evaluation and guidelines for using polyurethane foam (PUF) passive air samplers in double-dome chambers to assess semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in non-industrial indoor environments.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2014 Nov;16(11):2617-26

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, CZ-625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Indoor air pollution has been recognized as an important risk factor for human health, especially in areas where people tend to spend most of their time indoors. Many semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) have primarily indoor sources and are present in orders of magnitude higher concentrations indoors than outdoors. Despite this, awareness of SVOCs in indoor air and assessment of the link between indoor concentrations and human health have lagged behind those of outdoor air. This is partially related to challenges associated with indoor sampling of SVOCs. Passive air samplers (PASs), which are widely accepted in established outdoor air monitoring networks, have been used to fill the knowledge gaps on indoor SVOCs distribution. However, their applicability for indoor environments and the assessment of human health risks lack sufficient experimental data. To address this issue, we performed an indoor calibration study of polyurethane foam (PUF) PAS deployed in a double-dome chamber, covering both legacy and new SVOC classes. PUF-PAS and a continuous low-volume active air sampler (AAS) were co-deployed for a calibration period of twelve weeks. Based on the results from this evaluation, PUF-PAS in a double-bowl chamber is recommended for indoor sampling and health risk assessment of gas phase SVOCs, including novel brominated flame retardants (nBFR) providing sufficient exposure time is applied. Data for particle associated SVOCs suffered from significant uncertainties caused by low level of detection and low precision in this study. A more open chamber design for indoor studies may allow for higher sampling rates (RS) and better performance for the particle associated SVOCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4em00305eDOI Listing
November 2014

Levels and distribution of dissolved hydrophobic organic contaminants in the Morava river in Zlín district, Czech Republic as derived from their accumulation in silicone rubber passive samplers.

Environ Pollut 2012 Jul 12;166:157-66. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment RECETOX, Kamenice 126/3, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Dissolved waterborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were assessed over a period of one year at five sampling sites in a model industrial region in the Czech Republic using silicone rubber passive samplers. The spatial variability of POPs in the studied region in water was small and diffusive pollution sources predominate. Concentrations of the most volatile PAHs decreased with increasing water temperature in the whole region, which reflects the seasonality in atmospheric deposition. The dissolved concentrations of more hydrophobic PAHs, PCBs and OCPs in and downstream the industrial zone are related to desorption from suspended particles. Upstream the industrial area, a positive correlation of dissolved and particle-bound contamination was observed only for DDT metabolites and hexachlorobenzene. Calculated fugacities in water and bottom sediment indicated a fair degree of equilibrium between these compartments for OCPs and PCBs, whereas sediment represented a potential source of PAHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2012.02.022DOI Listing
July 2012

Observation and origin of organochlorine compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the free troposphere over central Europe.

Environ Pollut 2009 Dec 12;157(12):3264-71. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Masaryk University, Research Centre for Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Kamenice 3, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic.

On Zugspitze (2670 m a.s.l.), Alps, higher concentrations were observed during a winter than during a summer measurement campaign of PAHs, chlorobenzenes (43.6 vs. 2.0 pg m(-3)) and DDTs (3.7 vs. 1.2 pg m(-3)), while hexachlorocyclohexanes and PCBs were found at similar levels. The PCB, HCH and DDT levels are among the lowest ever reported from outside the Arctic. Mostly lower levels were found in samples collected in summer than in winter despite a significant boundary layer air influence, but no such influence on samples collected during the winter campaign. Boundary layer influence was quantified by Lagrangian particle dispersion model retroplume analyses. Photochemical lifetimes corresponding to k(OH) < 1.5 x 10(-12) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1) are found for p,p'-DDT, k(OH) < 0.75 x 10(-12) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1) for p,p'-DDE and k(OH) < 1.0 x 10(-12) cm(3) molec(-1) s(-1) for p,p'-DDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2009.05.028DOI Listing
December 2009