Occurrence of polar organic compounds in atmospheric particulate matter: a system review in South America

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment(2021)

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Particulate matter (PM) is one of the existing air pollutants, which can cause damages to human health, public property, and the environment. The chemical composition of this pollutant greatly varies, mainly its organic fraction. Thus, our objective was to carry out a literature review based on articles, considering studies conducted in South America, whose authors address the characterization of the polar organic fraction of PM. We performed the review using the Scopus, SciELO, and Web of Science databases, considering publications dated from the years 2010 to 2019. A total of 14,575 articles were found, of which only 12 met the predefined selection criteria. According to our research, the most studied compound is levoglucosan, a biomass burning marker belonging to the group of anhydrous sugars. Besides, nitro-PAHs, which usually originate from vehicular sources and are compounds with mutagenic and carcinogenic characteristics, have also been found. Moreover, we concluded that, currently, there are few studies on the subject in South America, requiring more research on polar organic compounds present in PM in countries of this region. These studies are of great importance because some compounds can cause great damage to human health, such as the nitro-PAHs; furthermore, PM may still have unknown compounds that need identification and elucidation of their toxicity.
Atmospheric pollutants, PM, Organic substances, Environmental monitoring
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