Despite much speculation, the principal factors controlling concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in settled house dust (SHD) have not yet been identified. In response to recent reports that dust from pavement with coaltar-based sealcoat contains extremely high concentrations of PAH, we measured PAH in SHD from 23 apartments and in dust from their associated parking lots, one-half of which had coal-tar-based sealcoat (CT). The median concentration of total PAH (T-PAH) in dust from CT parking lots (4760 ??g/g, n = 11) was 530 times higher than that from parking lots with other pavement surface types (asphalt-based sealcoat, unsealed asphalt, concrete [median 9.0 ??g/g, n = 12]). T-PAH in SHD from apartments with CT parking lots (median 129 ??g/g) was 25 times higher than that in SHD from apartments with parking lots with other pavement surface types (median 5.1 ??g/g). Presence or absence of CT on a parking lot explained 48% of the variance in log-transformed T-PAH in SHD. Urban land-use intensity near the residence also had a significant but weaker relation to T-PAH. No other variables tested, including carpeting, frequency of vacuuming, and indoor burning, were significant. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.
Additional publication details
Coal-tar-based parking lot sealcoat: An unrecognized source of PAH to settled house dust