Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in The Netherlands
Starting in the winter 1964-1965, the TNO Research Institute for Environmental Hygiene has determined the PAH-concentrations of the atmosphere at several locations in The Netherlands. Long series of data are available for several stations. The trend in the concentrations is spectacular: the concentrations have fallen from relatively high values to nearly negligible levels. During this period natural gas replaced coal and oil as a fuel for heating buildings. The same, though not complete, changes occurred in the fuels for the production of energy in factories and power stations. The intensity of road traffic has been growing rapidly during the same period. The conclusion can be drawn that modern motor traffic is not a major source of PAH. The relative proportions of different polycyclic hydrocarbons can give a clue for the detection of the kind of source of the PAH-concentrations. This is illustrated by the results of measurements at different stations. It is to be expected that in the not too far future, the relative proportions of the fuels used in The Netherlands will change again. This may have some influence on the concentrations of PAH in the atmosphere.
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon