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Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in global background soils.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number1
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)45-48
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The levels and distribution of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in global background soil samples. Total PAH concentrations (sum of 15 compounds) ranged over 5 orders of magnitude, from <1 to 7,840 (mean 328) ng g-1 dry weight. The order was generally Europe > North America > Asia > Oceania > Africa > South America. Proximity to long-term emissions sources and locations susceptible to high atmospheric depositional inputs tended to have higher concentrations. A broad positive correlation was obtained between population density and soil PAH concentrations (i.e. source-related factors). However, concentrations were also influenced by the holding capacity of the soils (i.e. sink-related factors) with statistically significant correlations observed between PAHs and soil organic matter (SOM), and black carbon (BC).