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Chemometric assessment of the semivolatile organic contaminants content in the atmosphere of the selected sites in the Republic of Macedonia



Data obtained through a pilot study for the development of the monitoring network in the Central and Eastern Europe (MONET_CEEC) 2006, regarding the occurrence of 12 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), seven indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 28 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the air of six locations in the Republic of Macedonia have been interpreted by principal component (PCA) and cluster (CA) analysis. The data structures of three sets organized to contain the atmospheric concentrations of (a) PAHs, the so-called PAHs set, (b) both classes of organochlorine compounds (PCBs and OCPs) grouped in the organochlorinated compounds (OCCs) set and (c) the overall data (the semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) set) were compared. The PCA results suggested mixed origin of PAHs, especially dominant in the urban zones of Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. Furthermore, it was found that retene had a distinctive source that separated it from the rest of the PAHs, and it was linked to the incidents of biomass burning. The OCC atmospheric patterns differed among the sites more than it was the case with the PAH patterns, implying some site-specific sources or conditions that influenced the OCC atmospheric concentrations. CA coupled with bootstraps confirmed the groupings of samples found by the PCA biplots. The influence of available meteorological parameters on the SVOC atmospheric concentrations has been evaluated by multiple regression analysis (MRA) indicating the positive impacts of temperature and wind speed for majority of analyzed SVOCs. Precipitation was found to be linked proportionally only with pentachlorobenzene and hexachlorobenzene. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.