Journal Article: EPA's National Dioxin Air Monitoring Network (NDAMN): Design, Implementation, and Final Results
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) established the National Dioxin Air Monitoring Network (NDAMN) in June of 1998, and operated it until November of 2004. The objective of NDAMN was to determine background air concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs). NDAMN started with 10 sampling sites, adding more over time until the final count of 34 sites was reached by the beginning of 2003. Samples were taken quarterly, and the final sample count was 685. All samples were measured for 17 PCDD/PCDF congeners, 8 PCDD/PCDF homologue groups, and 7 dl-PCBs (note: 5 additional dl-PCBs were added for samples starting in the summer of 2002; 317 samples had measurements of 12 dl-PCBs). The overall average total toxic equivalent (TEQ) concentration in the United States was 11.2 fg TEQ m−3 with dl-PCBs contributing 0.8 fg TEQ m−3 (7%) to this total. The archetype dioxin and furan background air congener profile was seen in the survey averages and in most individual samples. This archetype profile is characterized by low and similar concentrations for tetra – through hexa PCDD/PCDF congeners, with elevations in four congeners – a hepta dioxin and furan congener, and both octa congeners. Sites were generally categorized as urban (4 sites), rural (23 sites), or remote (7 sites). The average TEQ concentrations over all sites and samples within these categories were: urban = 15.9 fg TEQ m−3, rural = 13.9 fg TEQ m−3, and remote = 1.2 fg TEQ m−3. Rural sites showed elevations during the fall or winter months when compared to the spring or summer months, and the same might be said for urban sites, but the remote sites appear to show little variation over time. The four highest individual moment measurements were 847, 292, 241, and 132 fg TEQ m−3. For the 847 and 292 fg TEQ m−3 samples, the concentrations of all congeners were elevated over their site averages, but for the 241 and 132 fg TEQ m−3 measurements, only the PCDD congeners were elevated while PCDF and dl-PCB concentrations were similar to the site averages.