Atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5) transports polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) regionally and globally, influencing the air quality of communities around the planet. Concentrations of 130 PAHs extracted from PM2.5, collected on a Native American Tribal Reservation in the Northern Puget Sound region of the American Pacific Northwest, were used to assess the air quality impacts of regional and local PAH sources, atmospheric transport, and human health implications. Wind coming from the southeast of the sampling locations increased the overall PAH concentration of the PM2.5, while winds from the southwest decreased the PAH concentration. Concentrations of PAH subclasses increased or decreased independently at the two sampling locations with different changes in wind patterns, changing the excess lifetime cancer risk significantly. No long-range transport was measured, but emissions from local and regional PAH sources were measured. Samples collected during regional wildfires showed increased PAH concentrations. Samples collected during predicted weather inversions resulted in the highest PAH concentrations, and up to a ten-fold increase in excess lifetime cancer risk over the normal days.
Keywords: Atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)); Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); Tribal reservation air quality.
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