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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20194

Wenger, D; Gerecke, A; Heeb, N; Hueglin, C; Seiler, C; Haag, R; Naegeli, H; Zenobi, R (2009). Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated activity of atmospheric particulate matter from an urban and a rural site in Switzerland. Atmospheric Environment, 43(22-23):3556-3562.

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Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) is an air-suspended mixture of solid and liquid particles that vary in size, shape, and chemical composition. Long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of fine atmospheric particles is considered to pose a health threat to humans and animals. In this context, it has been hypothesized that toxic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) play an important role. Some PAHs are known to be carcinogenic and it has been shown that carcinogenic effects of PAHs are mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). In this study, PM1 was collected at a rural and an urban traffic site during an intense winter smog period, in which concentration of PM1 often exceeded 50 μg m−3. We applied an in vitro reporter gene assay (DR-CALUX) to detect and quantify PM1-associated chemicals that induce AhR-mediated gene expression. This activity was expressed as CALUX equivalents of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (PM-TCDD-CEQs). In addition, concentrations of PAHs in the PM1 extracts were determined using gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry. Concentrations of PM-TCDD-CEQs ranged from 10 to 85 pg m−3 and from 19 to 87 pg m−3 at the urban and rural site, respectively. By the use of known relative potency factors, the measured concentration of a PAH was converted into a PAH-TCDD-CEQ concentration. ΣPAH-TCDD-CEQ and PM-TCDD-CEQ were highly correlated at both sites (r2 = 0.90 and 0.69). The calculated ΣPAH-TCDD-CEQs explain between 2% and 20% of the measured PM-TCDD-CEQs. Benzo[k]fluoranthene was the most important PAH causing approximately 60% of the total ΣPAH-TCDD-CEQ activity. In contrast to NO, CO, PM10, and PM1, the concentration of PM-TCDD-CEQs showed no significant difference between the two sites. No indications were found that road traffic emissions caused elevated concentrations of PM-TCDD-CEQs at the urban traffic site.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Date:July 2009
Deposited On:19 Aug 2009 08:03
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:19
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.04.012

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