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Characterization of AhR agonist compounds in roadside snow
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2012 (English)In: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, ISSN 1618-2642, E-ISSN 1618-2650, Vol. 403, no 7, 2047-2056 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonistic contaminants were identified in roadside snow samples. Snow was collected in Oslo, Norway, and compared to a background sample collected from a mountain area. The water and particulate fractions were analysed for AhR agonists using a dioxin-responsive, chemically activated luciferase expression (CALUX) cell assay and by gas chromatography coupled to high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry with targeted analysis for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and broad-spectrum non-target analysis. The AhR agonist levels in the dissolved fractions in the roadside samples were between 15 and 387 pg/L CALUX toxic equivalents (TEQ(CALUX)). An elevated AhR activity of 221 pg TEQ(CALUX) per litre was detected in the mountain sample. In the particle-bound fractions, the TEQ(CALUX) was between 1,350 and 7,390 pg/L. One possible explanation for the elevated levels in the dissolved fraction of the mountain sample could be the presence of black carbon in the roadside samples, potentially adsorbing dioxin-like compounds and rendering them unavailable for AhR interaction. No polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans or polychlorinated biphenyls were detected in the samples; the occurrence of PAHs, however, explained up to 9 % of the AhR agonist activity in the samples, whilst comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry GCxGC-ToF-Ms identified PAH derivatives such as polycyclic aromatic ketones and alkylated, nitrogen sulphur and oxygen PAHs in the particle fractions. The (large) discrepancy between the total and explained activity highlights the fact that there are other as yet unidentified AhR agonists present in the environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Heidelberg: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012. Vol. 403, no 7, 2047-2056 p.
Keyword [en]
Snow, Effect-directed analysis, CALUX, Black carbon
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-55079DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6000-0ISI: 000304401100028PubMedID: 22538776OAI: diva2:525447
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Haglund, Peter
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Department of Chemistry
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