Assessing Atmospheric Levels of PCBs and PBDEs in Tampa Bay and Studies on Remediation of these compounds

Lukasz Talalaj

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Masters of Science Department of Environmental Science and Policy College of Arts & Science University of South Florida Saint Petersburg.


Atmospheric levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured around the Tampa Bay area. Total PCBs, Σ56PCBs, ranged from 41.96- 1250.96 pg/m3 and total PBDEs, Σ14PBDEs, ranged from 0.78-9.54 pg/m3 at 5 sites with unique land-use classifications. PCB congener profiles indicated significant differences between most sites while PBDE congener profiles were more uniform. The use of Zero Valent Metals (ZVM) to remediate PBDEs was also explored. In a five hour study 0.8% Mg/Pd bimetallic system showed a 99% degradation of BDE-47 (2,2’,4,4’- tetrabromodiphenyl ether), following a step-wise debromination path with pseudo 1st order kinetics.