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Journal Article

Carcinogenic organic content of particulate matter at urban locations with different pollution sources


Džepina,  Katja
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Pehnec, G., Jakovljevc, I., Godec, R., Strukil, Z. S., Zero, S., Huremovic, J., et al. (2020). Carcinogenic organic content of particulate matter at urban locations with different pollution sources. Science of the Total Environment, 734: 139414. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139414.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-5A3F-F
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are compounds known for their adverse effects on human health. Many of them are proven carcinogens, especially those with 5 and 6 aromatic rings, which under normal tropospheric conditions are found in the particle-phase. Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is often measured as their general representative. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is among the European cities with the poorest air quality. However, in Sarajevo PAHs are neither routinely measured within the air quality monitoring network nor have been a subject of extended, continuous field studies during the most polluted cold periods of the year. The capital of Croatia, Zagreb, is located approximately 300 km air distance north-west from Sarajevo. PAH mass concentrations in Zagreb have been measured continuously since 1994 within air quality monitoring networks. During winter 2017/2018, the SAFICA project (Sarajevo Canton Winter Field Campaign 2018) was carried out in order to characterize the chemical composition of organic and inorganic aerosol in the Sarajevo Canton. This paper presents the results of PAH measurements in the cities of Sarajevo and Zagreb at one urban location per city. Daily (24 h), continuous samples of PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters ≤10 μm) were collected during heating season, from December 27, 2017 to February 27, 2018. Mass concentrations of eleven particle-phase PAHs in Sarajevo and Zagreb from filter samples collected during the same period were compared. The average BaP ambient mass concentrations in Sarajevo and Zagreb were 6.93 ng m−3 and 3.11 ng m−3, respectively. The contribution of BaP to the total PAH mass concentration was similar at both locations (11%). However, much higher contributions of particle-phase fluoranthene and pyrene were found in Sarajevo. Contributions of individual PAH, diagnostic ratios and factor analysis indicate that combustion of gasoline and diesel from vehicle traffic are a potential source of PAHs at both locations, as well as combustion of other liquid fossil fuels (petroleum and fuel oil). Wood burning was occasionally indicated as a PAH emission source in Zagreb, while in Sarajevo the contribution of PAHs from wood and coal combustion was more evident. Calculated value for total carcinogenic potency (TCP) of PAHs, which was estimated using toxic equivalence factors from the literature, in PM10 samples collected in Sarajevo was more than twice higher than in Zagreb (10.6 ng m−3 and 4.7 ng m−3, respectively). BaP had the highest contribution to the TCP at both locations (69 and 67%).