Chlorinated Hydrocarbons in the Sargasso Sea Atmosphere and Surface Water

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Science  08 Feb 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4124, pp. 516-518
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4124.516


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), DDT, and chlordane concentrations were measured in air sampled from a tower on the south shore of Bermuda and in Sargasso Sea surface water approximately 80 to 320 kilometers south of Bermuda. The atmospheric chlorinated hydrocarbons appeared to be gaseous, and the DDT concentration was two orders of magnitude higher than previously reported particulate values. The PCB and DDT were enriched in the surface microlayer (150 micrometers) relative to their concentrations in water at a depth of 30 centimeters. Atmospheric residence times for PCB and DDT of 40 to 50 days, calculated from the concentrations in the air and water, are 20 times shorter than values previously estimated for DDT from rainfall and DDT production data.