Publication details

Composition and effects of inhalable size fractions of atmospheric aerosols in the polluted atmosphere: Part I. PAHs, PCBs and OCPs and the matrix chemical composition

Investor logo
Investor logo
Investor logo


Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Environmental Science and Pollution Research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Air pollution and control
Keywords Atmospheric particulate matter; Particle size resolved aerosol composition; Persistent organic pollutants
Description Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) abundance, mass size distribution (MSD) and chemical composition are parameters relevant for human health effects. The MSD and phase state of semivolatile organic pollutants were determined at various polluted sites in addition to the PM composition and MSD. The distribution pattern of pollutants varied from side to side in correspondence to main particle sources and PM composition. Levels of particle-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were 1-30 ng m(-3) (corresponding to 15-35 % of the total, i.e., gas and particulate phase concentrations), of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were 2-11 pg m(-3) (4-26 % of the total) and of DDT compounds were 2-12 pg m(-3) (4-23 % of the total). The PM associated amounts of other organochlorine pesticides were too low for quantification. The organics were preferentially found associated with particles <0.45 mu m of aerodynamic equivalent diameter. The mass fractions associated with sub-micrometer particles (PM0.95) were 73-90 %, 34-71 % and 36-81 % for PAHs, PCBs and DDT compounds, respectively. The finest particles fraction had the highest aerosol surface concentration (6.3-29.7)(x)10(-6) cm(-1) (44-70 % of the surface concentration of all size fractions). The data set was used to test gas-particle partitioning models for semivolatile organics for the first time in terms of the organics' MSD and size-dependent PM composition. The results of this study prove that at the various sites particles with diverse size, matrix composition, amount of contaminants and toxicological effects occur. Legislative regulation based on gravimetric determination of PM mass can clearly be insufficient for assessment.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info