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PAHs and nitrated PAHs in air of five European countries determined using SPMDs as passive samplers
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
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2005 (English)In: Atmospheric Environment, ISSN 1352-2310, Vol. 39, no 9, 1627-1640 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The gas phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitro-PAHs in the atmosphere of five European countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden) were measured simultaneously during two 21-day passive sampling campaigns using semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs). SPMD samplers, consisting of a pair of SPMDs covered by a metal umbrella, were deployed at 40 locations ranging from remote and rural to urban and industrial, at a similar time during each of the two sampling campaigns (autumn 1999, except in Poland, winter 1999, and summer 2000). The total amounts of PAHs and nitro-PAHs found in the SPMDs ranged between 5.0–1.2×103 and 1.1×10−3–4.0 ng SPMD−1 day−1, respectively. The measured environmental sampling conditions were similar between sites and, thus, the variations in the SPMD data reflected the spatial differences in gas phase concentrations of nitro-PAHs and PAHs within and between countries. The gas phase concentrations of nitro-PAHs and PAHs found in East Europe (Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland 1999) were 10 times higher than those measured in Sweden, Austria and Poland in 2000. In each country, the levels of PAHs and nitro-PAHs differed by one–three orders of magnitudes amongst sampling sites. The highest within-country spatial differences were found in Poland where levels of PAHs and nitro-PAHs were about one and two orders of magnitudes, respectively, higher in winter 1999 than in summer 2000, probably due to increasing emissions of coal combustion for residential heating. Differences in PAH-patterns between sites were visualized by the multivariate projection method, principal component analysis (PCA). However, no specific source patterns were found, probably since imissions rather than emissions were measured, so the PAHs detected at many sites originated from multiple sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2005. Vol. 39, no 9, 1627-1640 p.
Keyword [en]
Air monitoring, Diffusive sampling, PCA, Spatial variation, Analysis
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4290DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2004.11.010OAI: diva2:143314
Available from: 2004-11-24 Created: 2004-11-24 Last updated: 2012-02-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Semipermeable membrane devices as integrative tools for monitoring nonpolar aromatic compounds in air
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semipermeable membrane devices as integrative tools for monitoring nonpolar aromatic compounds in air
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Air pollutants pose a high risk for humans, and the environment, and this pollution is one of the major environmental problems facing modern society. Active air sampling is the technique that has been traditionally used to monitor nonpolar aromatic air pollutants. However, active high volume samplers (HiVols) require a power supply, maintenance and specialist operators, and the equipment is often expensive. Thus, there is a need to develop new, less complicated sampling techniques that can increase the monitoring frequency, the geographical distribution of the measurements, and the number of sites used in air monitoring programs. In the work underlying this thesis, the use of semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) as tools for monitoring gas phase concentrations of nonpolar aromatic compound was evaluated using the compound classes polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs (alkyl-PAHs) and nitrated PAHs (nitro-PAHs) as test compounds.

High wind-speeds increased the uptake and release in SPMDs of PAHs and PCBs with log KOA values > 7.9, demonstrating that the uptake of most nonpolar aromatic compounds is controlled by the boundary layer at the membrane-air interface. The use of a metal umbrella to shelter the SPMDs decreased the uptake of PAHs and PCBs by 38 and 55 percent, respectively, at high wind/turbulence, and thus reduced the wind effect. Further, the use of performance reference compounds (PRCs) to assess the site effect of wind on the uptake in SPMDs reduced the between-site differences to less than 50 percent from as much as three times differences in uptake of PCBs and PAHs. However, analytical interferences reduced the precision of some PRCs, showing the importance of using robust analytical quality control.

SPMDs were shown to be efficient samplers of gas phase nonpolar aromatic compounds, and were able to determine local, continental and indoor spatial distributions of PAHs, alkyl- PAHs and nitro-PAHs. In addition, the use of the SPMDs, which do not require electricity, made sampling possible at remote/rural areas where the infrastructure was limited. SPMDs were also used to determine the source of PAH pollution, and different approaches were discussed. Finally, SPMDs were used to estimate the importance of the gas phase exposure route to the uptake of PAHs in plants. The results demonstrate that SPMDs have several advantages compared with HiVols, including integrative capacity over long times, reduced costs, and no need of special operators, maintenance or power supply for sampling. However, calibration data of SPMDs in air are limited, and spatial differences are often only semi-quantitatively determined by comparing amounts and profiles in the SPMDs, which have limited their use in air monitoring programs. In future work, it is therefore important that SPMDs are properly sheltered, PRCs are used in the sampling protocols, and that calibrated sampling rate data, or the SPMD-air partition data, of specific compounds are further developed to make determination of time weighted average (TWA) concentrations possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Kemi, 2004. 93 p.
Environmental chemistry, air pollution, alkyl-PAHs, atmosphere, bioavailability, boundary layer, diffusive sampling, emissions, integrative, membrane, monitoring, nitro-PAHs, PAHs, particles, passive samplers, PCBs, plants, PRCs, release rate, sampler design, sources, SPMDs, traffic, uptake rate, wind effect, wood burning, Miljökemi
National Category
Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-378 (URN)91-7305-782-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-12-10, KB3B1, KBC-huset, Umeå universitetsområdet, Umeå, 10:00
Available from: 2004-11-24 Created: 2004-11-24 Last updated: 2012-06-28Bibliographically approved

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Söderström, HannaTysklind, Mats
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