PCDD/Fs and PCBs in ambient air in a highly industrialized city in Northern Italy

Andrea Colombo, Emilio Benfenati, Simona Grazia Bugatti, Marco Lodi, Alessandro Mariani, Loredana Musmeci, Giuseppe Rotella, Vincenzo Senese, Giovanni Ziemacki, Roberto Fanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ambient air samples were collected in five locations around a polychlorobiphenyl (PCB) production plant in a highly industrialized city in the north of Italy, for the analysis of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and PCBs.PCDD/F atmospheric concentrations were lower than those generally detected in urban areas, while PCB concentrations were higher than in urban and industrialized areas in other countries, especially in the locations closest to the plant. To identify source emissions responsible for air pollution we used principal component analysis (PCA) to compare the "fingerprint" of the air in Brescia with some source-related experimental and published data. This analysis showed that the PCDD/F fingerprints were more similar to steel plant emission data, while none of the PCB air patterns were comparable to emission profiles, indicating that different sources are responsible for the concentration of these two pollutants. The highest PCB concentrations detected in the areas closest to the chemical plant are indicative of its impact on the surrounding environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2352-2357
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Air
  • Dioxins
  • Furans
  • PCA
  • PCBs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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