Pollution Sources and Carcinogenic Risk of PAHs in PM1 Particle Fraction in an Urban Area

Ivana Jakovljević, Zdravka Sever Štrukil, Ranka Godec, Ivan Bešlić, Silvije Davila, Mario Lovrić, Gordana Pehnec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Airborne particles are composed of inorganic species and organic compounds. PM1 particles, with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 1 μm, are considered to be important in the context of adverse health effects. Many compounds bound to particulate matter, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), are suspected to be genotoxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic. In this study, PAHs in the PM1 particle fraction were measured for one year (1/1/2018–31/12/2018). The measuring station was located in the northern residential part of Zagreb, the Croatian capital, close to a street with modest traffic. Significant differences were found between PAH concentrations during cold (January–March, October–December) and warm (April–September) periods of the year. In general, the mass concentrations of PAHs characteristic for car exhausts (benzo(ghi)perylene (BghiP), indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene (IP), and benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF)) were higher during the whole year than concentrations of fluoranthene (Flu) and pyrene (Pyr), which originated mostly from domestic heating and biomass burning. Combustion of diesel and gasoline from vehicles was found to be one of the main PAH sources. The incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) was estimated for three age groups of populations and the results were much lower than the acceptable risk level (1 × 10−6). However, more than ten times higher PAH concentrations in the cold part of the year, as well as associated health risk, emphasize the need for monitoring of PAHs in PM1. These data represent a valuable tool in future plans and actions to control PAH sources and to improve the quality of life of urban populations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9587
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2020


  • BaP
  • Carcinogenic
  • Diagnostic ratio
  • HPLC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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