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Research articles

ScienceAsia 35 (2009): 42-48 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2009.35.042

Sensitive analytical method for particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: A case study in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Somporn Chantara*, Walaya Sangchan

ABSTRACT:     Using a MiniVol air sampler, respirable particulate matter (PM10) was collected from 4 areas in Chiang Mai City. Concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the PM10 samples were determined by extraction from a quartz fibre filter with acetonitrile using an ultrasonicator, before filtering and evaporating prior to GC-MS analysis. The mean 24 h PM10 levels in a suburban area, a community area, and two traffic-congested areas were found to be in the ranges 15–54 µg/m3, 23–60 µg/m3, and 67–144 µg/m3, respectively. The mean total concentrations of the 16 PAHs in the PM10 samples were in the ranges 2.7–8.4 ng/m3, 3.9–9.1 ng/m3, and 7.6–16.6 ng/m3, respectively. The amount of PM10 was fairly well correlated with particle-bound PAH concentrations. Temporal variation clearly affected the PM10 concentration but it was not so clear in the case of particle-bound PAHs. The average benzo(a)pyrene-equivalent carcinogenic power values showed that community areas had a better air quality than traffic-congested areas. The diagnostic ratios revealed that diesel engine emissions might be the main source of PAHs in the ambient air of these areas.

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Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory, Chemistry Department and Centre for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University 50200, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: sp_chan@chiangmai.ac.th

Received 20 May 2008, Accepted 1 Feb 2009