Semi-permeable membrane devices (SPMDs) were loaded with deuterated anthracene and pyrene as performance reference compounds (PRCs) and deployed at a test site in four different chambers (open and closed box chamber, bowl chamber and cage chamber) for 29 days. The losses of PRCs and the uptake of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the ambient air were quantified. UV-B levels measured in each deployment chamber indicated that SPMDs would be exposed to the most UV-B in the cage chamber and open box chamber. Significantly less PAHs were quantified in SPMDs deployed in the cage chamber and open box chamber compared to samplers from the other two chambers, suggesting that photodegradation of PAHs had occurred. The loss of PRCs confirmed these results but also showed that photodegradation was occurring in the closed box chamber. The bowl chamber appears to provide the best protection from the influence of direct photodegradation. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.