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Implications for long-range atmospheric transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Lhasa, China

Wan-Li Ma, Hong Qi, Sonam Baidron, Li-Yan Liu, Meng Yang, Yi-Fan Li
Environmental science and pollution research international 2013 v.20 no.8 pp. 5525-5533
persistent organic pollutants, phenanthrenes, relative humidity, ambient temperature, air, India, South East Asia, West Asia, China
The Tibetan Plateau is suggested to be an important indicator region to study the global long-range atmospheric transport of persistent organic pollutants. In this study, atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were studied in Lhasa City in the Tibetan Plateau, China. Air samples in gas and particle phases were concurrently collected by a modified high-volume air sampler from 5 August 2008 to 13 July 2009. The concentration of ∑16PAHs ranged from 18 to 160 ng m(-3) (with a geometric mean of 68 ng m(-3)). The most abundant PAHs were phenanthrene and benzo(b)fluoranthene in gas and particle phases, respectively. Compared with other two similar studies in Beijing and Harbin, different temporal trends were found between gas and particle phases PAHs in Lhasa. The influences of meteorological parameters (ambient temperature and relative humidity) and air masses from China, India, Southeast Asia, and West Asia were the two important reasons for explaining the difference, which was confirmed by the 5-day backward trajectories. This is the first comprehensive study to provide the evidence for the different influences of long-range atmospheric transport on gas and particle phases PAHs pollution in the Tibetan Plateau.