Air monitoring of POPs
Defra Environmental chemical contaminants such as 'dioxins’ (PCDD/Fs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) belong to the generic group of organic molecules which are popularly called 'persistent organic pollutants’ (POPs) or 'persistent, bioaccumulatory and toxic ’ substances (PBTs). These chemicals, which include groups such as pesticides, industrial chemicals and by-products of combustion and chemical-industrial processes, have been linked with environmental damage and adverse impacts wildlife and human health. Most are highly toxic, persistent i.e. last for a long time in the environment, and have the potential to travel long distances far from their source of use, release or emission.
TOMPs is a monitoring network funded by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), to monitor the concentration of these compounds within the U.K. The network was set up in 1990, with Lancaster University (LU) becoming the main contractor in 2004. LU is responsible for maintaining four of the six sites and for the analysis of samples from all of the sites. The sites include; Manchester, Middlesbrough, High Muffles, Hazelrigg, London and Stoke Ferry. The maintenance and sampling of the last two sites are sub-contracted to AEA Technology. (see map)
Hi-volume air samplers at each site, are used to take fortnightly samples, these are then bulked into quarterly samples for analysis and reporting.
- Co-ordinate and ensure smooth running of the network
- Analyse samples to a high level of accuracy
- Take note of any trends in results
- Report data to DEFRA and for publication on the air quality website.
Located in a semi-rural location on the outskirts of the City of Lancaster, in North West England. OS co-ordinates (x,y) 349350,457850. TOMPs sampling at the site began in September 1992. Hazelrigg also operates as a meteorological station.
Located in a rural position on the North Norfolk coast, in East Anglia. OS co-ordinates (x,y) 609835,343741. TOMPs sampling at the site began in December 2008 in conjunction with the University of East Anglia. The Over the last ten years the Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory (WAO) has become established as a world class facility.
Situated on a rooftop location in the city centre. OS co-ordinates (x,y) 530157,179076. TOMPs sampling in London started in January 1991. Operations were transferred to this current site in 2008. From 1998 to 2008 this sampler was located at a nearby site on the roof of Ashdown House.
This sampler is situated in a rural location, OS co-ordinates (x,y) 322150, 656250. TOMPs sampling at Auchencorth started in December 2008 in conjunction with CEH Edinburgh.
Situated on a rooftop location in the city centre. The air sampler is located on the roof of the crown courts in the city centre, OS co-ordinates (x,y) 383450,398250. Sampling started at the site in January 1991.
Located in a rural location near to Pickering in Yorkshire. OS co-ordinates (x,y) 477650,493950. Sampling commenced at the site in January 1997.
Situated in an urban location in the North East of England. OS co-ordinates (x,y) 450550,519450. The sampler is situated on the roof of Middlesbrough Technical College on the outskirts of the city centre. This sampler has been operational since April 1993.
A rural site located in West Norfolk OS co-ordinates (x,y) 570050,298850. The sampler at this site began operating in February 1997 and stopped October 2008.
1. Prevedouros, K., Brorstrom-Lunden, E., Halsall, C. J., Jones, K. C., Lee, R. G. M. and Sweetman, A. J. (2004). Seasonal and long-term trends in atmospheric PAH concentrations: evidence and implications. Environ. Pollut. 128: 17-27.
2. Jaward, F. M., Farrar, N. J., Harner, T., Sweetman, A. J. and Jones, K. C. (2004). Passive air sampling of PCBs, PBDEs and organochlorine pesticides across Europe. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38: 34-41.
3. Lee, R. G. M., Thomas, G. O and Jones, K. C. (2004). PBDEs in the atmosphere of western Europe. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38: 699-706.
4. Farrar, N. J., Smith, K. E. C., Lee, R. G. M., Thomas, G. O., Sweetman, A. J. and Jones, K. C. (2004). Atmospheric emissions of PBDEs and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) during a major anthropogenic combustion event. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38: 1681-1685.
5. Jaward, F. M., Farrar, N., Harner, T., Sweetman, A. and Jones, K. C. (2004). Passive air sampling of PAHs and PCNs across Europe. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 23: 1355-1364.
6. Gouin, T., Harner, T., Daly, G. L., Wania, F., Mackay, D. and Jones, K. C. (2005). Variability of concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls in air: implications for monitoring, modelling and control. Atmos. Environ. 39: 151-166.
7. Farrar, N. J., Harner, T., Shoeib, M., Sweetman, A. J. and Jones, K. C. (2005). Field deployment of thin film passive samplers (POGs) for persistent organic pollutants (POPs): a study in the urban atmospheric boundary layer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39: 42-48.
8. Farrar, N. J., Harner, T., Sweetman, A. J. and Jones, K. C. (2005). Field calibration of rapidly equilibrating thin-film passive air samplers (POGs) and their potential application for low volume air sampling studies. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39: 261-267.
9. Lee, R. G. M., Coleman, P., Jones, J. L., Jones, K. C. and Lohmann, R. (2005).Emission factors and importance of PCDD/Fs, PCBs, PCNs, PAHs and PM10 from the domestic burning of coal and wood in the U.K. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39: 1436-1447.
10. Lee, R. G. M., Thomas, G. O. and Jones, K. C. (2005). A detailed study of factors controlling atmospheric concentrations of PCNs. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39: 4729-4738.
11. Lohmann, R., Lee, R. G. M., Abbott, J., Coleman, P. and Jones, K. C. (2006). Verifying emission factors and national POPs emission inventories for the UK using measurements and modelling at two rural locations. J Environ.Mon. 8: 79–88.
12. Gioia, R., Steinnes, E., Thomas, G. O., Meijer, S. N. and Jones, K. C. (2006). Persistent organic pollutants in European background air: derivation of temporal and latitudinal trends. J. Environ. Monitoring 8: 700-710.