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The variation of street air levels of PAH and other mutagenic PAC in relation to regulations of traffic emissions and the impact of atmospheric processes

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The occurrence of particle associated PAH and other mutagenic PAC was determined in 1996 in the street air of Copenhagen. In addition, particle extracts were tested for mutagenicity. The measurements were compared with previous measurements in 1992/1993. The levels had decreased in this period. The decrease was caused by an implementation of light diesel fuels for buses and the exchange of older petrol-driven passenger cars with catalystequipped new ones. About 65% of the reduction was caused by the application of the light diesel fuels. Under special conditions, chemical processes in the atmosphere produced many more mutagens than the direct emissions. The concentrations of S-PAC and N-PAC were 10 times lower than those of PAH, while the levels of oxy-PAH were in the same order of magnitude as those of PAH. Benzanthrone, an oxy-PAH, is proposed to be formed in the atmosphere in addition to direct emissions. Benzo(a)pyrene, often applied as an air quality criteria indicator, was photochemically degraded in the atmosphere. A strong increase in the mutagenic activities was observed to coincide with a depletion of benzo(a)pyrene.

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Correspondence to Torben Nielsen.

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Nielsen, T., Feilberg, A. & Binderup, M. The variation of street air levels of PAH and other mutagenic PAC in relation to regulations of traffic emissions and the impact of atmospheric processes. Environ. Sci. & Pollut. Res. 6, 133–137 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02987613

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  • Atmosphere
  • benzanthrone
  • benzo(a)pyrene
  • catalyst
  • city
  • degradation
  • diesel
  • formation
  • mutagenic activity
  • PAC
  • PAH
  • petrol
  • processes
  • regulations
  • Salmonella test
  • street
  • traffic
  • transport
  • vehicle