Variation in PAH patterns in road runoff

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Twelve particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in the first flush regime of road runoff during nine events in Winterthur in Switzerland. The total PAH contents ranged from 17 to 62 μg/g. The PAH patterns measured at different time intervals during the first flush periods were very similar within each event irrespective of variation in suspended solids (SS) concentration within the first flush regime. However, the PAH patterns were different from event to event. This indicates that the environment plays an important role in PAH accumulation in SS. A toxicity identification evaluation approach using a toxicity equivalency factor (TEF) was applied to compare toxicities in the different events. The TEFs were found to be between 8 and 33 μg TEQ g−1 (TEQ: toxic equivalent concentration). In some cases, two events having similar total PAH contents showed two fold toxicity differences.

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