This study presents determined levels of the highly carcinogenic dibenzopyrene isomers dibenzo(a,l)pyrene, dibenzo(a,e)pyrene, dibenzo(a,i)pyrene, and dibenzo(a,h)pyrene as well as three other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)benzo(a)pyrene, perylene and coronenein ambient particulate material samples from a street canyon, a rooftop, and an underground subway station in Stockholm, Sweden. To our knowledge, these are the first reported determinations of dibenzopyrene isomers in air particles from either Stockholm or a subway station. Taking into account both concentration and toxic equivalence factors (TEFs), the PAH with the highest carcinogenic potency in the analyzed samples was dibenzo(a,l)pyrene, and the sum carcinogenic potency of the determined dibenzopyrenes was about 1−4 times higher than that of benzo(a)pyrene in the analyzed samples. These findings indicate that it is important to analyze the dibenzopyrene isomers as well as benzo(a)pyrene; the common approach of using benzo(a)pyrene as an indicator substance could lead to underestimates of the potential carcinogenic potency of PAHs in ambient air. The results also indicate that the relative carcinogenic potency of the determined dibenzopyrenes and benzo(a)pyrene in air particles from Stockholm is similar to that of air particles sampled in Washington in 1976−1977, despite general improvements in air quality in the intervening period. However, more data are needed to characterize temporal variations in dibenzopyrene levels in locations such as subway stations, suburbs, road tunnels, and metropolitan areas. There is also a need to identify and characterize both stationary and mobile PAH sources with respect to emission of dibenzopyrene isomers.
Washington DC, USA: ACS Publishing , 2007. Vol. 41, no 3, 731-737 p.