Letter | Published:

Ubiquitous occurrence of 2-nitrofluoranthene and 2-nitropyrene in air

Nature volume 321, pages 425427 (22 May 1986) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Several nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAH) are direct-acting mutagens1,2 and/or carcinogens2–4, and are important constituents of combustion emissions and ambient air. These nitro-PAH are emitted from various combustion sources including gasoline and diesel engine exhaust5–8, aluminium smelting effluent9, coal fly ash10, wood smoke6, and cigarette smoke condensates11. Of these, diesel engine exhaust is the best characterized6–8, more than 50 nitrated polycyclic aromatic compounds having been identified by Paputa-Peck et al.8, including 1-nitropyrene (1-NP) as the single most abundant nitro-PAH. However, nitro-PAH may also be formed during source–receptor transport by atmospheric reactions of adsorbed or gas-phase PAH with oxides of nitrogen, nitric acid and other atmospherically important species such as the OH radical1,12–14. Evidence for the atmospheric formation of nitro-PAH has come only recently, from observations that 2-nitropyrene (2-NP)15–17 and 2-nitrofluoranthene (2-NF)16,17 neither of which has been reported to be emitted from combustion sources, are among the major nitro-PAH present in ambient air. We present here data from several locations which demonstrate that these two atmospherically formed nitro-PAH are ubiquitous in tropospheric ambient air.

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Author information

Author notes

    • Thomas Ramdahl

    Current address: Norsk Hydro A.S., PO Box 4313, S013 Nygaardstangen, Norway.

Affiliations

  1. Statewide Air Pollution Research Center, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA

    • Thomas Ramdahl
    • , Barbara Zielinska
    • , Janet Arey
    • , Roger Atkinson
    • , Arthur M. Winer
    •  & James N. Pitts Jr

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https://doi.org/10.1038/321425a0

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