PAHs occur in oil, coal and tar produced by carbonization of coal, but not in bitumen. They can also be found in grilled meat, cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust. PAH are persistent, ubiquitous and some of them have carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic properties. There are more than 100 different PAH, but usually the 16 PAH defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are analyzed. These are acenaphthene, acenaphthylene, anthracene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(ghi)perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, dibenz(ah)anthracene, fluoranthene, fluorene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, naphthalene, phenanthrene and pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is often used as a lead substance.
This Application Note describes the extraction and determination of these EPA-PAHs in a dried sediment SETOC sample according to EPA 3541. The sample was extracted with the UniversalExtractor E-800 in the Soxhlet warm mode. The quantification was done by Labor Veritas Zurich, an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.