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Uptake of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from an aqueous medium by polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polystyrene films
Pascall, M.A.; Zabik, M.E.; Zabik, M.J.; Hernandez, R.J. (2005). Uptake of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from an aqueous medium by polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polystyrene films. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53(1): 164-169.
In: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. American Chemical Society: Easton, Pa.,. ISSN 0021-8561; e-ISSN 1520-5118
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    PCBs; packaging; polyethylene; PVC; polystyrene

Auteurs  Top 
  • Pascall, M.A.
  • Zabik, M.E.
  • Zabik, M.J.
  • Hernandez, R.J.

    The sorption of selected polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (from tri to deca chlorinated) by three food-packaging plastic films [polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polystyrene] from an aqueous solution was investigated. From the data generated, PCB uptake, partition, and diffusion coefficients were calculated for the various films. Polyethylene exhibited the highest PCB uptake, diffusion, and partition coefficients when compared to the other materials. Although PVC indicated larger sorption diffusion and partition coefficients for the lower chlorinated congeners than polystyrene, a reversal of this trend was observed for the higher congeners. For polyethylene and PVC, the PCB uptake decreased as the chlorine numbers in the congeners increased, confirming the correlation between increasing chlorination and increasing cohesive density within the PCB molecules. For polystyrene, the uptake decreased from tri to penta congeners, but showed an increase for the hexa, and then a decreased uptake until the deca chlorination. A comparison of the molecular sizes of the PCB congeners showed that the partition (Ke) and sorption diffusion (Ds) coefficients generally decreased with their increasing molar volumes. The resulting Ke values were used to determine the extent of sorption because these values indicate the affinity of PCBs for the plastic films. Results from this study can be of practical importance for cases of product quality related to the transfer of contaminants from the product to the packaging materials.

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