Relationship between Persistence and Spatial Range of Environmental Chemicals

Martin Scheringer, Deborah H Bennett, Thomas E. McKone, Konrad Hungerbühler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Several approaches to calculate the spatial range or travel distance of environmental chemicals have been proposed in the literature. Here we evaluate the relationship between different definitions of spatial range and travel distance and between these quantities and the chemical's atmospheric residence time. We show that the results from a simple global multimedia fate and transport model can account for the analytical relationship. In contrast, the relationship between a chemical's overall persistence and spatial range cannot be described by an analytical expression. A plot of the spatial range versus the overall persistence does not show a well defined relationship between these two measures. The deviations from the analytical relation between atmospheric residence time and spatial range are caused by differences in the phase partitioning of the chemicals. In addition, deviations are strongly influenced by the release media. These effects are demonstrated by correlating the deviations from the analytical relation with the octanol-air partitioning coefficient for each chemical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalACS Symposium Series
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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