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Determination of polycyclic aromatic derivatives in atmospheric aerosols

Grant number: 06/55506-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2006 - December 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Lilian Rothschild Franco de Carvalho
Grantee:Lilian Rothschild Franco de Carvalho
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The existence of a relationship between the exposure to atmospheric particulate matter and the effects on human health has been the goal of much research. In urban areas, the principal source of particulate matter is the incomplete burning of fuel in the engines of vehicles, and the inhalable fraction of this matter is associated with a large variety of chemical substances, many of which are toxic. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were identified as being significant components of atmospheric particulate matter, since they present mutagenic and/or cancerigenic activity. More recently, some nitro-PAHs and oxy-PAHs were recognized as more toxic compounds than their precursors and, even present in low levels in atmospheric particulate matter, the accentuated mutagenic activity makes them of great toxicological interest. Despite efforts to characterize particulate matter in urban atmospheres, the organic compounds identified to-date do not explain all the toxicity found in this matter. The objective of this project is to determine nitro-PAH and oxy- PAH in atmospheric particulate matter in the city of São Paulo, a highly polluted urban center in which the predominant sources of emissions are motor vehicles driven by gasoline, ethanol and diesel. The determination of levels of concentration of the derivatives of PAHs will be carried out in localities which are highly and barely impacted by anthropogenic sources, especially vehicles, using bidimensional gas chromatography which offers interesting analytical characteristics for complex matrices such as samples of atmospheric particulate matter. (AU)