Selected Organic Compounds in Fine ParticulateMatter at the Regional Background, Urban Background and UrbanTraffic Points in Silesia (Poland)

Document Type : Original Research Paper



Suspended particles with aerodynamic diameters not greater than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were sampled
at the urban background, regional background and urban traffic points in southern Poland. In total, 120 samples
were collected between 2nd August 2009 and 27th December 2010. 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
and organic carbon (OC) were determined in each sample. The samples were collected with a high volume
sampler (Digitel). Afterwards, they were chemically analysed with a gas chromatograph equipped with a flame
ionization detector (Perkin Elmer Clarus 500) and thermo-optical carbon analyser (Sunset Laboratory Inc.).Over
the whole measurement period, the mean concentrations of the sum of 16 PM2.5-bound PAHs and particular
compounds within this group were very high at each measurement point. Particularly high values were observed
for the heating season, in which the concentrations of the PAH sum and BaP exceeded 56 and 7 ng/m3 (regional
background), 343 and 25 ng/m3 (urban background), and 166 and 14 ng/m3 (urban traffic), respectively. It was
showed that the emission related to heat production, particularly municipal emission (coal combustion in home
furnaces in cities and coal and wood combustion in the countryside) were the main sources of the air pollution
with PAHs in Silesia.Additionally, the traffic emission had probablya slight influence on the ambient concentrations
of the PM2.5-bound PAHs.