PAH levels measured in Viennese street dust

Environment agency study suggests PAHs in dust contribute to river sediment pollution

The Austrian environment agency has published a survey of levels of 17 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in street dust in Vienna. Comparing PAH levels in spring and summer, the survey reveals that levels are far higher in spring. Peter Seif of the environment agency told ENDS Daily that this showed domestic heating to be responsible for most PAH emissions in Austria. PAH levels in Viennese street dust were found to be lower than those found in German cities in an earlier study. The survey also revealed a potential source of PAH contamination of river sediments. The agency believes that PAHs are deposited on small particles (less than 500 micrometres in diameter), which are not removed with ordinary street cleaning. Instead, they are washed into rivers with rainwater causing PAHs to accumulate in sediments. Later this autumn, the agency will measure PAH levels in air in preparation for new legislative air quality standards to be introduced in two years.

Follow Up:
Austrian environment agency , tel: +43 1 31 304.

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