Assessing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) using passive air sampling in the atmosphere of one of the most wood-smoke-polluted cities in Chile: The case study of Temuco

Karla Pozo, Victor H. Estellano, Tom Harner, Luis Diaz-Robles, Francisco Cereceda-Balic, Pablo Etcharren, Katerine Pozo, Victor Vidal, Fabián Guerrero, Alberto Vergara-Fernández

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47 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study addresses human health concerns in the city of Temuco that are attributed to wood smoke and related pollutants associated with wood burning activities that are prevalent in Temuco. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in air across urban and rural sites over three seasons in Temuco using polyurethane foam (PUF) disk passive air samplers (PUF-PAS). Concentrations of σPAHs (15 congeners) in air ranged from BDL to ~70ngm-3 and were highest during the winter season, which is attributed to emissions from residential heating by wood combustion. The results for all three seasons showed that the PAH plume was widespread across all sites including rural sites on the outskirts of Temuco. Some interesting variations were observed between seasons in the composition of PAHs, which were attributed to differences in seasonal point sources. A comparison of the PAH composition in the passive samples with active samples (gas+particle phase) from the same site revealed similar congener profiles. Overall, the study demonstrated that the PUF disk passive air sampler provides a simple approach for measuring PAHs in air and for tracking effectiveness of pollution control measures in urban areas in order to improve public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalChemosphere
Volume134
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by FONDECYT Project N° 1130329 (Karla Pozo), N° 1120791 (Luis Diaz-Roblez) and N°1131028 (Francisco Cereceda). We are also grateful for logistical support provided by the Environmental Ministry in the Cautin region. This work was carried out with the partial support of core facilities of the Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX) – National Infrastructure for Research of Toxic Compounds in the Environment, project number LM2011028, funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the activity, “Projects of major infrastructures for research, development and innovations” and to National Program of Sustainability from the same Ministry (project number is: LO1214). Fabián Guerreo also thanks the Conicyt-PAI grant for the National competition for PhD thesis 2014-78141103.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • PAHs
  • PUF disk
  • Public health
  • Temuco
  • Wood combustion

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