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Issue 2, 2011
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Characterization of PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the ambient air of Spanish urban and rural areas

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Abstract

Urban areas constitute major pollution sources due to anthropogenic activities located in these areas. Among the legislated air pollutants, the particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 10 microns (PM10) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are controlled under Directive 2008/50/EC and Directive 2004/107/EC, respectively due to their adverse health effects. A study was carried out at four urban and rural Spanish areas during the warm and cold seasons in 2008–2009 to quantify 19 PAH associated with the atmospheric PM10 by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-mass spectrometry detection (GC-MS-MS) with the internal standard method. The particle-bound composition of the analysed PAH was 5 and 10 times greater in industrial and urban areas, respectively when compared to those measured in rural areas. The highest PAH concentrations during the cold period were possibly due to the additional contribution of domestic heating sources and meteorological conditions such as low temperature and solar irradiation. The use of molecular diagnostic ratios indicated that the possible, major PAH pollution sources in the most polluted areas were pyrogenic sources, mainly attributed to petroleum combustion sources (motor vehicle emissions and crude oil combustion). Petrogenic sources related to evaporative emissions also seemed to contribute in the most polluted area during the warm period. Those dates with high carcinogenic character according to the benzo(a)pyrene equivalent (BaP-eq) were also possibly attributed to petroleum combustion sources.

Graphical abstract: Characterization of PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the ambient air of Spanish urban and rural areas

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
13 Aug 2010
Accepted
16 Nov 2010
First published
13 Dec 2010

J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 319-327
Article type
Paper

Characterization of PM10-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the ambient air of Spanish urban and rural areas

M. S. Callén, J. M. López and A. M. Mastral, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 319
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00425A

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