Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 10799–10807 | Cite as

Mutagenicity assessment of aerosols in emissions from domestic combustion processes

  • Nuno Canha
  • Isabel Lopes
  • Estela Domingos Vicente
  • Ana M. Vicente
  • Benjamin A. Musa Bandowe
  • Susana Marta Almeida
  • Célia A. Alves
Research Article


Domestic biofuel combustion is one of the major sources of regional and local air pollution, mainly regarding particulate matter and organic compounds, during winter periods. Mutagenic and carcinogenic activity potentials of the ambient particulate matter have been associated with the fraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and their oxygenated (OPAH) and nitrogenated (NPAH) derivatives. This study aimed at assessing the mutagenicity potential of the fraction of this polycyclic aromatic compound in particles (PM10) from domestic combustion by using the Ames assays with Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and TA100. Seven biofuels, including four types of pellets and three agro-fuels (olive pit, almond shell and shell of pine nuts), were tested in an automatic pellet stove, and two types of wood (Pinus pinaster, maritime pine, and Eucalyptus globulus, eucalypt) were burned in a traditional wood stove. For this latter appliance, two combustion phases—devolatilisation and flaming/smouldering—were characterised separately. A direct-acting mutagenic effect for the devolatilisation phase of pine combustion and for both phases of eucalypt combustion was found. Almond shell revealed a weak direct-acting mutagenic effect, while one type of pellets, made of recycled wastes, and pine (devolatilisation) presented a cytotoxic effect towards strain TA100. Compared to the manually fired appliance, the automatic pellet stove promoted lower polyaromatic mutagenic emissions. For this device, only two of the studied biofuels presented a weak mutagenic or cytotoxic potential.


Mutagenicity Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon PM10 Residential wood burning Ames assay Domestic combustion 



This work was financially supported by the AIRUSE-Testing and development of air quality mitigation measures in Southern Europe, LIFE 11 ENV/ES/000584. Ana Vicente acknowledges the Postdoc grant SFRH/BPD/88988/2012 from the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT; Portugal) and the financing programme POPH/FSE. N. Canha would like also to thank the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT; Portugal) for affording him a Postdoc grant (SFRH/BPD/102944/2014). The FCT support is gratefully acknowledged by the researchers from C2TN/IST (through the UID/Multi/04349/2013 project) and by the CESAM members (through the CESAM’s strategic programme UID/AMB/50017/2013).

Supplementary material

11356_2016_6292_MOESM1_ESM.doc (78 kb)
Table S1 Mutagenicity of PAC extracts of particles emitted in domestic combustion in a pellet stove and wood stove to S. typhymurium TA98. (DOC 78 kb)
11356_2016_6292_MOESM2_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Table S2 Mutagenicity of PAC extracts of particles emitted in domestic combustion in a pellet stove and wood stove to S. typhymurium TA100. (DOC 51 kb)
11356_2016_6292_MOESM3_ESM.doc (60 kb)
Table S3 Mutagenicity of PAC extracts of particles emitted in domestic combustion in a pellet stove and wood stove to S. typhymurium TA98 with metabolic activation with Mix S9. (DOC 60 kb)
11356_2016_6292_MOESM4_ESM.doc (51 kb)
Table S4 Mutagenicity of PAC extracts of particles emitted in domestic combustion in a pellet stove and wood stove to S. typhymurium TA100 with metabolic activation with Mix S9. (DOC 51 kb)
11356_2016_6292_MOESM5_ESM.doc (71 kb)
Table S5 Mutagenicity of PAC extracts of particles emitted by combustion of pine wood (devolatisation), and almond shell in different concentrations to S. typhymurium TA98. (DOC 71 kb)
11356_2016_6292_MOESM6_ESM.doc (56 kb)
Table S6 Mutagenicity of PAC extracts of particles emitted by combustion of pellets type IV in different concentrations to S. typhymurium TA100. (DOC 55 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaBobadela LRSPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Environment and Planning, CESAM—Centre for Environmental and Marine StudiesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Biology and CESAM—Centre for Environmental and Marine StudiesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  4. 4.Institute of GeographyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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