Patterns and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their derivatives in indoor air

Somenath Mitra, Bonnie Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Select polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), their derivatives, and nicotine were measured in eight homes in Columbus, Ohio, during the winter of 1986/1987 by Chuang et al. (1988, Technical Report EPA/600/4-28/028, U.S. EPA). These homes had different indoor PAH sources, namely, environmental tobacco smoke, gas cooking/heating, and electrical cooking stoves. We use a combination of correlation analysis, factor analysis and multiple regression to identify and apportion the different sources of PAHs. We find that, of all the sources, environmental tobacco smoke appears to have the greatest impact on the total indoor PAH concentrations. In smokers' homes, more than 87% of the total PAH is due to this source. Background sources are the largest contributor to PAHs in nonsmokers' homes. We also study the source apportionment of total extractable organic material (EOM) measured in the homes. In smokers' homes, EOM can be attributed mainly to environmental tobacco smoke (49%) and background sources (42%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3345-3356
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


  • Indoor air
  • factor analysis/multiple regression
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • source apportionment


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