Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons Service



ESG Environmental Chemistry Business Unit provides testing and analysis for Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other organic compounds. Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of organic compounds which have two or more benzene rings in their structure. Most PAHs in the environment are from incomplete combustion of carbon containing materials such as oil, coal, gas etc. They are often absorbed onto particles of soot emitted from combustion sources. Some PAHs may cause cancer and genetic damage.

There are thousands of PAH compounds but the groups that are generally required in environmental testing are: US EPA 16 Priority PAHs:

  • Coronene is an additional PAH which is required when testing PAHs for Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) testing.
  • The 'Oil 8' PAHS are required by the EA Guidance document 'How to find out if waste oil and wastes that contain oil are hazardous'. These are: benz(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b) benzo(k) & benzo(j)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, dibenzo(a,h) anthracene and indeno (1,2,3-c,d) pyrene.


PAHs are analysed by extracting the environmental sample with solvent and then analysis by GCMS. The following chromatogram shows one of our PAH EPA 16 standard mixes.

Analytical Options

Matrix PAHs Method MDL soil 16 or 17 PAHs with quantification of 'Oil 8' if required Solvent extraction / GCMS 0.08 mg/kg waters 16 or 17 PAHs Solvent extraction / GCMS 10 ppt.

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