One-year-old pine needles collected from residential and industrial locations in Kentucky were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls. For comparison, pine needle samples from the highly contaminated Linden Chemicals and Plastics (LCP) Superfund site in Brunswick, Georgia, also were analyzed. PCB concentrations in residential Kentucky ranged from 1.91 ng/g dry wt. to 12 ng/g dry wt. These sites were comparatively less polluted than those from the Superfund site, that had concentrations ranging from 15 ng/g dry wt. to 34 ng/g dry wt. Finger printing of PCB contamination sources was possible using pine needle PCB profiles. PCB-28 and PCB-52, PCB-101, PCB-153 and PCB-138 in pine needles indicated uptake of Aroclors −1016 and −1242, −1254, −1260 in Kentucky sites. Pine needles from the Superfund site and its vicinity contained higher chlorinated PCBs especially, PCB-196, PCB-199, and PCB-206 characteristic of Aroclor 1268. When the toxic equivalencies (TEQs) of PCBs were compared, Kentucky pine needles were only slightly lower (0.03–0.17 pg/g dry wt) than pine needles from the Superfund site (0.24–0.48 pg/g dry wt). Considering the homologue distribution of PCBs in pine needles from Kentucky and the Superfund site, lower chlorinated PCBs seem to have traveled farther than the higher chlorinated PCBs.
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Vol. 68 • No. 1