Seasonal characteristics of the gaseous and particulate PAHs at a roadside station in Seoul, Korea

J. Y. Kim, J. Y. Lee, Y. P. Kim, S. B. Lee, H. C. Jin, G. N. Bae

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Gaseous and particulate PAHs were measured at a roadside station in Seoul, Republic of Korea and 16 PAH compounds were analyzed in order to investigate the seasonal variation of the roadside PAHs concentrations, evaluate the toxicity from the PAHs, and identify the contribution of vehicular emissions. Evident seasonal variation was observed both in the gaseous and particulate PAH concentrations though the degree of the variation was lower than the non-road urban area and background measurements. From the toxicity analysis, it was revealed that the toxic PAH compounds were mostly associated with particulates with the highest toxicity in winter. The considerable toxicity of the roadside PAHs indirectly implies that the toxicities of PAHs in tunnel could be a level of significant concern in Seoul. The distributions of individual PAH compounds in the gas and particle phases were more variable at the roadside station than the tunnel, since the roadside measurements are more susceptible to variable sources although the major source is vehicular emission. From the analysis of PAH profiles, the toxicity analysis, and the source evaluation using the diagnostic ratios, it was suggested that the PAH concentrations in spring might be particularly influenced by the transport of PAHs produced by biomass burning from China and/or North Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-150
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Research
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Flagship project of the Green City Technology Institute, KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology) and in part by the CEFV (Center for Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) of Eco-STAR project from MOE (Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea) . This work was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) ( No. 2009-353-D00039, No. 2010-0001898, and No. 2011-0028597 ).


  • Long-range transport
  • PAH toxicity
  • Roadside measurement
  • Source evaluation


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