Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) have been used as passive air samplers of semivolatile organic compounds in a range of studies. However, due to a lack of calibration data for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), SPMD data have not been used to estimate air concentrations of target PAHs. In this study, SPMDs were deployed for 32 days at two sites in a major metropolitan area in Australia. High-volume active sampling systems (HiVol) were co-deployed at both sites. Using the HiVol air concentration data from one site, SPMD sampling rates were measured for 12 US EPA Priority Pollutant PAHs and then these values were used to determine air concentrations at the second site from SPMD concentrations. Air concentrations were also measured at the second site with co-deployed HiVols to validate the SPMD results. PAHs mostly associated with the vapour phase (Fluorene to Pyrene) dominated both the HiVol and passive air samples. Reproducibility between replicate passive samplers was satisfactory (CV<20%) for the majority of compounds. Sampling rates ranged between 0.6 and 6.1 m3 d-1. SPMD-based air concentrations were calculated at the second site for each compound using these sampling rates and the differences between SPMD-derived air concentrations and those measured using a HiVol were, on average, within a factor of 1.5. The dominant processes for the uptake of PAHs by SPMDs were also assessed. Using the SPMD method described herein, estimates of particulate sorbed airborne PAHs with five rings or greater were within 1.8-fold of HiVol measured values. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Field-based evaluation of semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) as passive air samplers of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)