Suspended PM10 Particles in an Urbanized Coastal Zone (Tricity Agglomeration, Poland) – a Possible Source of PAHs for Gulf of Gdańsk Sediments
Ludwik Lubecki, Grażyna Kowalewska
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Marine Pollution Laboratory, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Powstańców Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2012;21(3):685–696
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined by GC/MS in suspended airborne PM10 particles collected at 4 sites in the Tricity agglomeration of northern Poland. This industrialized and densely populated area with distinctly seasonally variable weather conditions is located on the southern Baltic Sea coast. Daily concentrations of Σ12PAHs ranged from ~0.04 to ~60 ng/m3 in the samples analyzed. The levels of particulate PAHs showed distinct seasonal changes throughout the year, with higher concentrations in the heating season. The elevated PAH concentrations recorded during the heating season were most probably due to greater emissions of PAHs from heating systems, as well as meteorological factors that restrict the dispersion of these pollutants in the atmosphere and enhance their persistence. Benzo(a)pyrene was confirmed as being a good marker of total PAHs associated with PM10 particles, and concentrations of this compound during the heating season often exceeded 1 ng/m3 – the threshold established in Directive 2004/107/EC. Mass concentrations of PM10 particulate matter were not strongly correlated with PAH concentrations. Meteorological factors like temperature and wind speed strongly influence the distribution of particulate PAHs in the study area, but the former parameter is clearly linked to seasonal emission patterns. It has been found that atmospheric input is an important source of PAHs deposited in recent Gulf of Gdańsk sediments.