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Vapor-phase concentrations of PAHs and their derivatives determined in a large city: Correlations with their atmospheric aerosol concentrations

Barrado, Ana Isabel, García, Susana, Sevillano, Marisa Luisa, Rodríguez, Jose Antonio, Barrado, Enrique
Chemosphere 2013 v.93 pp. 1678-1684
aerosols, atmospheric pressure, detection limit, nitrogen, oxides, pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, suburban areas, sulfur, temperature, vapors, Spain
Thirteen PAHs, five nitro-PAHs and two hydroxy-PAHs were determined in 55 vapor-phase samples collected in a suburban area of a large city (Madrid, Spain), from January 2008 to February 2009. The data obtained revealed correlations between the concentrations of these compounds and a series of meteorological factors (e.g., temperature, atmospheric pressure) and physical–chemical factors (e.g., nitrogen and sulfur oxides). As a consequence, seasonal trends were observed in the atmospheric pollutants. A “mean sample” for the 14-month period would contain a total PAH concentration of 13835±1625pgm−3 and 122±17pgm−3 of nitro-PAHs. When the data were stratified by season, it emerged that a representative sample of the coldest months would contain 18900±2140pgm−3 of PAHs and 150±97pgm−3 of nitro-PAHs, while in an average sample collected in the warmest months, these values drop to 9293±1178pgm−3 for the PAHs and to 97±13pgm−3 for the nitro-PAHs. Total vapor phase concentrations of PAHs were one order of magnitude higher than concentrations detected in atmospheric aerosol samples collected on the same dates. Total nitro-PAH concentrations were comparable to their aerosol concentrations whereas vapor phase OH-PAHs were below their limits of the detection, indicating these were trapped in airborne particles.