Harry Alvarez-Ospina This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Sofia Giordano1, Luis A. Ladino2, Graciela B. Raga2, Joshua I. Muñoz-Salazar1,2, Martha Leyte-Lugo3, Daniel Rosas4, Giovanni Carabali5

1 Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México
2 Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México
3 Catedrática CONACYT Comisionada a la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Ciudad de México, México
4 Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, México
5 Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México

Received: June 3, 2020
Revised: December 10, 2020
Accepted: December 21, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200245  

Cite this article:

Alvarez-Ospina, H., Giordano, S., Ladino, L.A.,  Raga, G.B., Muñoz-Salazar, J.I.,  Leyte-Lugo, M., Rosas, D., Carabali, G. (2021). Particle-bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (pPAHs) in Merida, Mexico. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200245. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200245


  • pPAHs were quantified with a PAS during October 2017 to March 2018.
  • The total pPAHs concentration had an average value of 19 ± 11 ng m3.
  • The diurnal cycle of pPAHs showed a bimodal behavior similar to CO, NOx and BC.
  • pPAHs concentrations derived of this study provide a baseline for future estimates.


This study focuses on the air quality evaluation of Merida, a medium-size city located in the Yucatan Peninsula with a significant population growth in recent years. Particle-bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (pPAHs) were quantified with a real time sensor during a six-month period during the dry season (October 2017 to March 2018). The pPAHs diurnal and monthly characteristics, as well as their potential sources were determined. The total pPAHs concentrations ranged from 7 ng m–3 to 170 ng m–3, with an average value of 19 ± 11 ng m–3. A seasonal trend was observed, albeit not complete, indicating that pPAHs concentrations were higher during the colder months (October through January) than in February and March. The diurnal cycle showed a bimodal behavior similar to those found for carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and black carbon (BC) (estimated from absorption coefficient), indicating that burning of fossil fuels from vehicular traffic is the likely source of the pPAHs emitted in Merida. Moreover, atypical nocturnal values were observed, where the high pPAHs concentration could be associated with the burning of solid waste. The average pPAHs concentration obtained in this study (19 ± 11 ng m–3) were found to be lower than the values measured in two other sites in Mexico City (32 ng m–3 and 50 ng m–3), Boston (29 ng m–3), Los Angeles (88.3 ng m–3) and Quito (220 ng m–3).

Keywords: Air pollution, Aerosol particles, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Photoelectric aerosol sensor

Don't forget to share this article 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.