Taichung is the largest city in the central part of Taiwan, and its air pollution problems are similar to those in other large cities around the world. To evaluate the potential of the air pollution and identify major pollutant sources in this city, 181 airborne particulate samples were collected biweekly from seven locations around Taichung over an entire year. The mutagenicity of acetone extracts of the air samples was evaluated using the Salmonella/microsomal test with Salmonella typhimurium TA98 in the presence and absence of S9 mixtures. The air samples from September 1994 showed the highest direct and indirect mutagenicity among the 12 months, whereas those from October and June had the lowest direct and indirect mutagenicity, respectively. To elucidate the correlation between mutagenicity and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), high-performance liquid chromatography was used to determine the amount of each of 10 PAHs in the air samples. Among the 10 PAHs, the monthly average amount of B [g,h,i]P in the samples was the highest, followed by B[a]FA, B[a]P, and B[k]FA. Linear regression analysis showed a positive correlation between monthly average total amounts of PAHs and indirect mutagenicity. The monthly average amount of B[g,h,i]P was correlated more with indirect mutagenicity than with other PAHs. B [g,h,i]P is an indicator PAH emitted from beth diesel and gasoline engine exhaust. Thus, we suggest that mobile air pollutant sources in Taichung City may be more significant than stationary ones. Moreover, B[g,h,i]P seems to act as a mutagenicity indicator compound in air samples from Taichung City.
- Airborne particulates
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)