John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in atmospheric particulate matter of an urban area with iron and steel mills

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed from ambient air particulate matter <10 µm (PM10) and the total suspended particulate (TSP) phase continuously for a period of six months (May–October 2010) at five sampling sites located in the urban area of Divinópolis (Minas Gerais), southeastern Brazil, near iron and steel mills. The carcinogenic potency of priority PAHs relative to benzo[a]pyrene was estimated for a period of six months. Benzo[a]pyrene equivalents were 7.52 ng/m3 for the study period. The estimated risk of lifetime lung cancer was 6.5 × 10−4. A model based on the diagnostic ratio and principal component analysis was applied for source apportionment. Considering the entire study period, the burning of biomass and fuel oil accounted for about 70% of the PAH profile. An inventory was performed during the monitoring period, with 37 companies representing major industries located in the urban area. The observations were consistent with the distribution of sources and indicated the iron and steel sector was the largest contributor. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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