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Evaluation of the urban/rural particle-bound PAH and PCB levels in the northern Spain (Cantabria region)

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels in PM10 and PM2.5, at one rural and three urban sites in the Cantabria region (northern Spain). From all of these pollutants, benzo(a)pyrene is regulated by the EU air quality directives; its target value (1 ng/m3) was not exceeded. The concentration values of the studied organic pollutants at the studied sites are in the range of those obtained at other European sites. A comparison between the rural?urban stations was developed: (a) PAH concentration values were lower in the rural site (except for fluorene). Therefore, the contribution of local sources to the urban levels of PAHs seems relevant. Results from the coefficient of divergence show that the urban PAH levels are influenced by different local emission sources. (b) PCB rural concentration values were higher than those found at urban sites. Because no local sources of PCBs were identified in the rural site, the contribution of more distant emission sources (about 40 km) to the PCB levels is considered to be the most important; the long-range transport of PCBs does not seem to be significant. Additionally, local PAH tracers were identified by a triangular diagram: higher molecular weight PAHs in Reinosa, naphthalene in Santander and anthracene/pyrene in Castro Urdiales. A preliminary PAH source apportionment study in the urban sites was conducted by means of diagnostic ratios. The ratios are similar to those reported in areas affected by traffic emissions; they also suggest an industrial emission source at Reinosa.

 Authorship: Arruti A., Fernández-Olmo I., Irabien A.,

 Fuente: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2012, 184(11), 6513-6526

 Publisher: Springer Netherlands

 Publication date: 01/11/2012

 No. of pages: 14

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.1007/s10661-011-2437-4

 ISSN: 1573-2959,0167-6369

 Spanish project: CTM2006-00317

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