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[Publication]: Atmospheric phthalate pollution in plastic agricultural greenhouses in Shaanxi Province, China

Dr. Yanxia Zhang published a research paper in Environmental Pollution (2020, 116096)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116096

Phthalate pollution in soil and vegetables in plastic agricultural greenhouses has attracted wide concern. Investigating airborne phthalates in this environment can improve understanding of air-soil or air-vegetable phthalate migration. However, studies of phthalates in plastic agricultural greenhouse air are rare. To fill this gap, 25 gas-phase and 23 particle-phase samples were collected from 12 typical plastic greenhouses in Shaanxi. 16 types of phthalates were measured by a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry system (GC-MS) to analyse their pollution features and variations. Results showed that in the air of the plastic greenhouses, the median concentration of the sum of sixteen type phthalates (∑16 phthalates) was 5305 ng m-3, with 5th-95th value of 1214-9616 ng m-3. Phthalates in gas-phase samples were over 100 times higher than the levels in particle-phase samples. Air phthalate concentrations in the plastic greenhouses were higher than those in the control groups (P < 0.05). Air bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) accounted for 66.9% and 29.3% of total ∑16 phthalate concentrations, respectively. Air phthalate concentrations in the plastic greenhouses in winter were 1.1-5.3 times higher than the levels in summer respectively (P < 0.05). Gas-particle partition coefficients (KP) values of DEHP in summer (median of 1.52 × 10-4 m3 μg-1) were higher than KP values of DnBP in summer (0.60 × 10-4 m3 μg-1). Log-transformed KP values of DnBP and DEHP were linear correlated to the reciprocal of air temperatures, respectively (P < 0.05).