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

Katsunori Anezaki, Takeshi Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1009
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • ISTC
  • Ambient air
  • Pentachlorobenzene
  • Congeners
  • Byproduct
  • Pigments
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Hexachlorobenzene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Chemistry


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