Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 998–1009 | Cite as

Concentration levels and congener profiles of polychlorinated biphenyls, pentachlorobenzene, and hexachlorobenzene in commercial pigments

  • Katsunori AnezakiEmail author
  • Takeshi Nakano
Research Article


The concentration levels and congener profiles of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pentachlorobenzene (PeCBz), and hexachlorobenzene (HxCBz) were assessed in commercially available organic pigments. Among the azo-type pigments tested, PCB-11, which is synthesized from 3,3′-dichlorobendizine, and PCB-52, which is synthesized from 2,2′,5,5′-tetrachlorobendizine, were the major congeners detected. It is speculated that these were byproducts of chlorobendizine, which has a very similar structure. The total PCB concentrations in this type of pigment ranged from 0.0070 to 740 mg/kg. Among the phthalocyanine-type pigments, highly chlorinated PCBs, mainly composed of PCB-209, PeCBz, and HxCBz were detected. Their concentration levels ranged from 0.011 to 2.5 mg/kg, 0.0035 to 8.4 mg/kg, and 0.027 to 75 mg/kg, respectively. It is suggested that PeCBz and HxCBz were formed as byproducts and converted into PCBs at the time of synthesizing the phthalocyanine green. For the polycyclic-type pigments that were assessed, a distinctive PCB congener profile was detected that suggested an impact of their raw materials and the organic solvent used in the pigment synthesis. PCB pollution from PCB-11, PCB-52, and PCB-209 pigments is of particular concern; therefore, the monthly variations in atmospheric concentrations of these pollutants were measured in an urban area (Sapporo city) and an industrial area (Muroran city). The study detected a certain level of PCB-11, which is not included in PCB technical mixtures, and revealed continuing PCB pollution originating from pigments in the ambient air.


Polychlorinated biphenyls Congeners Hexachlorobenzene Pentachlorobenzene Pigments Ambient air Byproduct 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant number 24710016.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hokkaido Research Organization, Environmental and Geological Research DepartmentInstitute of Environmental SciencesSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Science and InnovationOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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