Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and method development in supercritical fluid chromatography: Dissertation

Jari Tuominen

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


The occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in different Finnish sources was studied by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The levels of some 25 PAHs were determined in ambient air, environmental tobacco smoke and food samples.The reliability of the results was estimated and the total PAH intake of the Finnish population was calculated on the basis of the measured and literature data.Smoking was by far the most important contributor to the intake of PAHs by breathing.Ambient air and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) had a substantial impact, too.Smoked and grilled food contain high levels of PAHs, but adjusting for total food consumption, cereals were the major contributor to the total oral intake.The average total intake of the sum of 9 PAHs via inhalation and food consumption was estimated to be about 3.1 mg for smokers and 2.6 mg for non smokers annually.The dietary intake of benzo(a)pyrene, 0.069 mg per person and year, is a low value compared with the figures reported for other countries.The suitability of supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) for PAH determination was evaluated, with particular attention to sample introduction techniques (split, delayed split and direct injection).The parameters contributing to the performance were evaluated and the performance was measured quantitatively.A reproducibility (RSD) of < 10 % for standard PAH compounds was achieved by using delayed split injection, and a reproducibility < 2% for chrysene using direct injection.The use of supercritical fluid as an extraction fluent was evaluated on the basis of the studies on injection and incorporated into the analytical scheme.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • University of Helsinki
Award date23 Feb 1990
Place of PublicationEspoo
Print ISBNs951-38-3566-9
Publication statusPublished - 1990
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)



  • polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
  • gas chromatography
  • mass spectrometryGC-MS analysis
  • supercritical fluid chromatography
  • air
  • tobacco
  • smoke

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