MonAirNet | Strengthening the Austrian-Czech Republic Cross-Border Cooperation:
Impact Assessment of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the atmosphere

About the project

The main aim of MONAIRNET project is cross-border cooperation between Czech Republic and Austria on assessment of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) content and transport in ambient air through relevant sub-regions.

Obr. 1: Odběrové lokality projektu Monairnet

Fig.  MONAIRNET project sampling sites and interactive map of locations

Both Austria and Czech Republic have a key location on the boundary of regions of Europe. The project evaluates pollution of ambient air in selected regions of both countries, using a coordinated monitoring of pollutants that are likely to be transported over long distances, are persistent and toxic for the environment and humans.

Within the framework of the project, RECETOX (MU) and Umweltbundesamt have established a common monitoring network with one-year sampling programme. The most advanced techniques and approaches were applied. Polyurethane foam passive air samplers, new patented atmospheric deposition samplers and unique multidirectional high volume sampling pumps (HiVol) were deployed on 20 selected sampling sites in South Moravian Region, Vysočina region, South Bohemian Region, Lower Austria and Upper Austria. In addition, spruce needles were sampled. Moreover, passive sampler of ambient air was also placed in the Svratouch site as an important reference site despite the fact that is located outside of studied regions in the Czech Republic.

Common sampling network provided valuable data on POPs concentrations in ambient air for all studied regions in Austria and the Czech Republic. This network was also added to a long term, large monitoring networks (EMEP, MONARPOP and MONET).

All samples were analyzed for the content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds (PCFs) and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and furans (PCDFs).

Acquired results, mainly from unique active samplers, that sample air in dependence on prevailing air masses flow, can help to determine both regional and remote sources of POPs.

Results are statistically analyzed and interpreted. Data serve as a background for POPs pollution assessment in the studied regions, and also, to raise public awareness and inform local authorities via specialized GIS maps.

The implementation team:

Pavel Čupr, Peter Weiss, Wolfgang Möche, Roman Prokeš, Daniela Baráková, Philipp Hohenblum, Lenka Škrdlíková, Ilona Václavíková, Ondřej Sáňka, Petr Kukučka, Petra Přibylová, Kateřina Šebková, Ivan Holoubek and Jana Klánová.