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J Environ Anal Health Toxicol > Volume 27(2); 2024 > Article
Journal of Environmental Analysis, Health and Toxicology 2024;27(2):49-64.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.36278/jeaht.27.2.49    Published online June 30, 2024.
Analysis of Targeted, Suspect, and Non-target Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Atmosphere of Pohang, Korea using GC×GC-TOFMS
Min-Ji Go1, Ho-Young Lee1, Seong-Jin Hong2, Sung-Deuk Choi1
1Department of Civil, Urban, Earth, and Environmental Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Korea
2Department of Marine Environmental Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, 34134, Korea
GC×GC-TOFMS를 이용한 포항시 대기 중 다환방향족탄화수소의 표적, 추정, 비표적 분석
고민지1, 이호영1, 홍성진2, 최성득1
1울산과학기술원 지구환경도시건설공학과
2충남대학교 해양환경과학과
Correspondence:  Sung-Deuk Choi, Tel: 82-52-217-2811, Fax: 82-52-217-2859, 
Email: sdchoi@unist.ac.kr
Received: 27 December 2023   • Revised: 15 January 2024   • Accepted: 22 January 2024
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are recognized as carcinogenic and potentially toxic. However, only the 16 PAHs designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) are consistently monitored. This is a concern because non-target screening is essential to understand the pollution characteristics of PAH species and assess the overall toxicity of total PAHs. In this study, non-target screening of the ambient air was conducted using the GC×GC-TOFMS analysis of samples taken from passive air samplers deployed for 84 days (June to September) in Pohang, a major industrial city in Korea. The dominance of PAH derivatives in Pohang was attributed to industrial and petrogenic sources. The chemical groups significantly contributing to harbor samples included PAH derivatives, arenes, and thiophene. Emissions from the processing of coal as a raw material and particulate matter from POSCO’s Pohang steel plant also influenced the formation of PAH derivatives and thiophene. The benzo[a]pyrene toxic equivalent quantity (BaP-TEQ) of total PAHs, including both targeted parent PAHs and PAH derivatives, was 2.5 times higher than the targeted parent PAHs alone. The results of this study can serve as a basis for future non-target screening studies by providing insights into the estimation of the overall toxicity of PAHs and the spatial distribution of various compounds.
Key Words: Non-target screening, GC×GC-TOFMS, Parent PAHs, PAH derivatives


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