Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Volume 10, Pages 20-37
Research Article

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Concentration Levels on the Korean Peninsula between 2006 and 2008

1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Sejong University Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Department of Environmental Science, Fukuoka Women's University, Japan
3College of Environment and Applied Chemistry, Kyunghee University, Yongin, Republic of Korea

Received 31 July 2009; Revised 27 November 2009; Accepted 29 November 2009

Academic Editor: Richard Brown

Copyright © 2010 Hang Thi Nguyen et al.


Concentrations of seven polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds — benzo(a)anthracene (BaA), chrysene (CHRY), benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF), benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF), dibenz(a,h)anthracene (DahA), indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene (I123P), and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) — in air were measured as the sum of gas and particle fractions at 32 monitoring stations dispersed across Korea during a 2-year period (February 2006 to January 2008). The data sets were collected at intervals of 1 day (24 h) per month from each monitoring station. According to our analysis, the spatial distribution of PAH is distinguished by manmade activities between different land use types. Evaluation of total PAH (T-PAH) concentration levels, which were derived by summing up all individual compounds, revealed that the T-PAH value varied on the order of commercial (4.85 ± 4.40 ng m-3) rural (4.42 ± 2.73 ng m-3), industrial (4.27 ± 1.79 ng m-3), greenland (3.09 ± 3.86 ng m-3), and background (2.60 ± 2.54 ng m-3) areas. The PAH values, when compared across seasons, tend to peak consistently during the winter (or spring) due to the active consumption of fossil fuels. The overall results of this study confirm that the pollution status of PAH compounds are clearly discernible not only between areas with different levels of anthropogenic activities, but also between periods with changes in environmental conditions.