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Distribution of Gaseous Phase Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Rural Environment of India

Author Affiliations

  • 1* National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nehru Marg, Nagpur-440 020 (M.S.), INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 4, Issue (7), Pages 70-74, July,22 (2015)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are considered as atmospheric contaminants due to their carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. In the present study, 8 selected gaseous phase PAHs were determined in ambient air representing rural environment. The gaseous phase PAHs samples were investigated for quantification of selected PAHs in various seasons and possible sources of gaseous phase PAHs in rural environment. The samples were collected using a cartridge containing XAD-2 resin placed between layers of polyurethane foam (PUF) and analyzed by fluorescence technique. The seasonal variation in selected gaseous phase individual PAHs varied between 28-496.9 ng m-3 during winter, summer and post-monsoon season respectively. The concentration of gaseous phase PAHs was dominated by Phen, Anth and Flt. The gaseous phase concentration of PAHs were 3.9 and 5.1 times higher in winter as compared to summer and post-monsoon season respectively. The higher concentration winter may be due to higher emission from biomass burning, fuel used for cooking such as coal and kerosene and other heating activities to protect from cold winter. The three ring gaseous phase PAHs were predominant than four and five membered ring PAHs and contribution varied between74.9-93.9 % of selected PAHs. The ratio analysis studies showed that traditional fuel used for cooking purposes mainly wood, kerosene, coal and biomass burning are the major contributors in rural environment.


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