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Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Feb 15;38(4):1079-88.

Use of the relative concentration to evaluate a multimedia model for PAHs in the absence of emission estimates.

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  • 1Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University, Kwanak ku, Shilimdong San 56-1, Seoul 151-742, Korea. leeds@snu.ac.kr


With no confident emission information, a dynamic multimedia model (POPsME) was evaluated by comparing predicted and measured relative concentrations (defined as the ratio of concentration in a medium to that in soil) for 12 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[a]pyrene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene, benzo[g,h,i]perylene, and indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene). Field monitoring for multimedia (air particulates, water (dissolved phase and suspended solids), soil, sediment, and leaves of Pinus koraiensis and Prunus serrulata) was conducted seasonally over 1 yr from August 1999 to July 2000 at seven sites in Seoul and neighboring areas (150 km x 150 km) in Korea. The model was calibrated using the monitoring data of four PAHs (phenanthrene, pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, and benzo[g,h,i]perylene) and tested with the remaining eight PAHs. For C(suspended solids)/C(soil) and C(sediment)/C(soil) (Ci, concentration (mol/m3) in medium i), the model prediction changed with octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow) from underestimation to overestimation, revealing a limitation to the use of sorption equilibrium assumption and/or Kow for the description of sorption. Nonetheless, the model prediction generally agreed with the measured within a factor of 10 for all the monitored media. The relative concentration was shown to be a useful means to evaluate and improve the model.

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