Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 20, pp 15931–15940 | Cite as

Carcinogenic activity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons bounded on particle fraction

  • Ivana JakovljevićEmail author
  • Gordana Pehnec
  • Vladimira Vadjić
  • Anica Šišović
  • Silvije Davila
  • Ivan Bešlić
Research Article


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) originate from a variety of natural and industrial processes. In this paper, concentrations of nine PAHs in PM10 particle fraction were measured concurrently at four different sites (rural, urban residential, urban traffic, and residential-industrial) in continental Croatia. Measurements at all of the four sites showed much higher average concentrations for all of the PAHs in the winter period. The highest winter average values were measured at the industrial site and the lowest at the rural and the urban residential site. In the summer, the highest average values were also measured in the industrial area, except for benzo(ghi)perylene and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, which showed the highest average values in the rural area. Factor analysis has been applied to PAH concentrations to identify their potential sources. Extracted factors have been interpreted on basis of previous studies and weather conditions. The diagnostic ratios calculated in this study indicated mixed sources at all of the sites. The contribution of gasoline and diesel from traffic was significant at all of the sites except for the urban industrial. In the winter, potential PAH sources also arose from wood combustion. The industrial site differed from the other sites with the highest influence of diesel sources and refinery during the summer months. The contribution of BaP in total carcinogenic activity exceeded 50 % in both seasons at all of the measured sites, which suggests that BaP could be suitable as a marker of the carcinogenic potential of a PAH mixture.


Diagnostic ratios PAHs Seasonal variations Urban Rural BaP equivalents TEF 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivana Jakovljević
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gordana Pehnec
    • 1
  • Vladimira Vadjić
    • 1
  • Anica Šišović
    • 1
  • Silvije Davila
    • 1
  • Ivan Bešlić
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Medical Research and Occupational HealthZagrebCroatia

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