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This paper discusses the origin of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) found to be present ubiquitous in the environment: soil, leave/needles, rainwater etc. To date TCA in the atmosphere was thought to originate only from anthropogenic sources and to cause a significant contribution to forest decline by uptake into the leaves/needles. However, the hypothesis that tetrachloroethene is involved is not supported by the latitudinal distribution of tetrachloroethene concentrations. Additional anthropogenic sources, such as combustion, and natural sources are most probably present.
Recent research indicates that there may be substantial natural production of TCA in soil. This production is calculated to be higher than the atmospheric deposition rate. Therefore, natural production of TCA in soil will be the main source of high TCA concentrations in leaves/needles.

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Authors: HOEKSTRA E, Environment Institute, JRC Ispra (IT);JUUTI S, University of Kuopio, Kuopio (FI)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Atmospheric Environment, 32 (1998) 17, 3059-3060
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