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Chemosphere. 2004 May;55(8):1089-95.

Biomass burning as the main source of organic aerosol particulate matter in Malaysia during haze episodes.

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1
Department of Chemistry, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Abstract

The haze episodes that occurred in Malaysia in September-October 1991, August-October 1994 and September-October 1997 have been attributed to suspended smoke particulate matter from biomass burning in southern Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. In the present study, polar organic compounds in aerosol particulate matter from Malaysia are converted to their trimethylsilyl derivatives and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in order to better assess the contribution of the biomass burning component during the haze episodes. On the basis of this analysis, levoglucosan was found to be the most abundant organic compound detected in almost all samples. The monosaccharides, alpha- and beta-mannose, the lignin breakdown products, vanillic and syringic acids and the minor steroids, cholesterol and beta-sitosterol were also present in some samples. The presence of the tracers from smoke overwhelmed the typical signatures of emissions from traffic and other anthropogenic activities in the urban areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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