Ngo Thi Thuan1,2, Nguyen Duy Dat This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.3, Nguyen Minh Ngoc2,4, Nhung Thi-Tuyet Hoang3, To Thi Hien2,4, Moo Been Chang  5 

1 School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, International University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2 Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
3 Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
4 Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
5 Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Central University (NCU), Taoyuan 32001, Taiwan

Received: March 6, 2024
Revised: May 20, 2024
Accepted: June 4, 2024

 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.

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Cite this article:

Thuan, N.T., Dat, N.D., Ngoc, N.M., Hoang, N.T.T., Hien, T.T., Chang, M.B. (2024). Atmospheric Polychlorinated Naphthalenes in a Tropical Megalopolis of Vietnam: Concentrations, Potential Sources, and Health Risk. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 24, 240047.


  • This is the first study regarding polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) in Vietnam.
  • Gaseous PCNs predominated in the atmosphere.
  • Evaporation and thermal processes were the major sources of atmospheric PCNs.
  • Low human health risks associated with atmospheric PCNs were found.


In this study, 75 congeners of polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs - the new persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention) were firstly analyzed in ambient air samples collected at five sites in Vietnam. Results indicated that the concentration of total PCNs ranged from 56.8 to 263 (pg m–3) in the dry season and 12.9 to 208 (pg m–3) in the rainy season. Gaseous PCNs dominated in both seasons, however, the contribution of particulate PCNs increased in the rainy season. Two typical homologue profiles were found in ambient air samples, including low-chlorinated PCNs (monoCNs > diCNs > triCNs) and medium-chlorinated PCNs (tetraCNs > triCNs). Principal component analysis indicated that atmospheric PCNs might be derived from three typical sources including evaporation from products containing PCNs (42.7%), primary emission from combustion-related sources (20.8%), and flue gas after treatment (11.9%). Cluster analysis and diagnostic ratios of typical PCNs indicated that PCNs in each sample might be contributed by different sources with varying magnitudes. The results of the health risk assessment reveal that low risk is associated with atmospheric PCNs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This study provides useful information on the characteristics of PCNs in Vietnam, thereby bridging the knowledge divide regarding the pollution of new POPs in developing countries.

Keywords: Air pollution, Dioxin-like compounds, Health risk assessment, Ho Chi Minh City, PCNs

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