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Environ Pollut. 2015 Jan;196:164-70.

Concentrations and spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrated PAHs (NPAHs) in the atmosphere of North China, and the transformation from PAHs to NPAHs.

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State Key Joint Laboratory for Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Center for Environment and Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China.


The occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrated derivatives (NPAHs), as well as their transformation may have significant health impacts on humans. To investigate the level, spatial distribution and the transformation process of PAHs and NPAHs in North China, we performed a griddedfield passive air sampling campaign in summer of 2011. The median concentration of 25 PAH congeners and 13 NPAHs was 294 ng m(-3) (or 26.7 mg sample(-1)) and 203 ng sample(-1), respectively. Relative higher level of PAHs in Shanxi Province and NPAHs in megacities was observed. In North China, coal/biomass combustion and photochemical formation was the predominant source of PAHs and NPAHs, respectively.To investigate the relationship between these pollutants, a model incorporating NPAHs, PAHs and NO(2) was established, and the result indicated that NO(2) will promote the transformation processes from PAHs to NPAHs, which may increase the total toxicity of PAH-NPAH mixtures.

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