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Simultaneous Sampling of Vapor and Particle-Phase Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Functionalized Glass Fiber Filters

Category: Air Toxics

Volume: 16 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 175-183
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.07.0476
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Valerio Paolini 1,2, Ettore Guerriero1, Alessandro Bacaloni2, Mauro Rotatori1, Paolo Benedetti1, Silvia Mosca1

  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Italian National Research Council, via Salaria Km 29,300, 00015 Monterotondo (RM), Italy
  • 2 Sapienza University of Rome, Chemistry Department, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome (RM), Italy


A method for simultaneous sampling of vapur- and particle-fraction of carcinogenic PAHs is presented.
A functionalized glass fiber filter was tested for PM10 sampling.
High sampling efficiencies were observed for the described device.
No adsorbents (PUF, XAD etc.) are needed for PAHs sampling on the described device.
Higher extraction recoveries were obtained, compared to PUF.


The sampling of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the atmosphere is often performed on filters, which retain only aerosol particles, disregarding the vapor fraction; after the filter, an adsorbent (e.g., polyurethane foam, PUF, or styrene/divinylbenzene, XAD) is sometimes used for sampling vapors not retained from the filter. However, the use of an adsorbent may lead to many disadvantages: contaminations, analysis time and costs, and size problems when developing automated or personal samplers. In this work, a functionalized glass fiber filter for the simultaneous sampling of aerosol particles and vapor fraction is presented for the sampling of PAHs in air. A low sampling efficiency was observed for 3 ring PAHs, but all carcinogenic PAHs (according to IARC) were totally retained on functionalized filters. On the other hand, a comparison with normal filter sampling was performed, and results obtained confirm that > 10% of benzo(a)pyrene can be lost from normal filters. Together with size reduction, another advantage of the functionalized filter is an enhancement in the extraction and purification recovery.


Polycyclic aromatic compounds PM10 Ambient samplers SVOC Aerosol sampling and transport

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