Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Canadian mountain air and soil are controlled by proximity to roads
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- Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Canadian mountain air and soil are controlled by proximity to roads
- Choi, Sung-Deuk; Shunthirasingham, Chubashini; Daly, Gillian L.; Xiao, Hang; Lei, Ying D.; Wania, Frank
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER SCI LTD
- ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, v.157, no.12, pp.3199 - 3206
- Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in soil and XAD-based passive air samples taken from a total of 22 sites along three transects (Revelstoke, Yoho, and Observation, 6-8 sites for each transect) in the mountains of Western Canada in 2003-2004. Median concentrations in air (4-ring PAHs: 33 pg/m(3)) were very low and comparable to those in global background regions such as the Arctic. Low median soil concentrations (16 EPA PAHs: 16 ng/g dry weight) and compositional profiles dominated by naphthalene and phenanthrene are similar to those of tropical soils, indicative of remote regions influenced mostly by PAHs from traffic and small settlements. Comparing levels and composition of PAHs in soils between and along transects indeed suggests a clear relationship with proximity to local sources. Sampling sites that are closer to major traffic arteries and local settlements have higher soil concentrations and a higher relative abundance of heavier PAHs than truly remote sites at higher elevations. This remains the case when the variability in soil organic carbon content between sites is taken into account. Both air/soil concentration ratios and fugacity fractions suggest atmospheric net deposition of four-ring PAHs to soils.
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