14 Apr 2022
14 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Contribution of wood burning to exposures of PAHs and oxy-PAHs in Eastern Sweden

Hwanmi Lim1, Sanna Silvergren4, Silvia Spinicci2, Farshid Mashayekhy Rad3, Ulrika Nilsson1, Roger Westerholm1, and Christer Johansson4,5 Hwanmi Lim et al.
  • 1Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden
  • 2Waters Sverige AB, 171 65, Solna, Sweden
  • 3Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University, Box 576, 751 23 Uppsala, Sweden
  • 4Environment and Health Administration, SLB, Stockholm, 104 20, Sweden
  • 5Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden

Abstract. A growing trend in the developed countries is the use of wood as fuel for domestic heating due to measures taken to reduce usage of fossil fuels. However, this imposed another issue with the environment and human health. That is, the emission from wood burning contributed to the increased level of atmospheric particulates and the wood smoke caused various respiratory diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of wood burning on the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in air PM10 using known wood burning tracers, i.e. levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan from the measurement at the urban background and residential areas in Sweden. A yearly measurement from three residential areas in Sweden showed a clear seasonal variation of PAHs during the cold season, mainly from the increased domestic heating and meteorology. Together, an increased sugar level assured the wood burning during the same period. The sugar ratio (levoglucosan/(mannosan+galactosan)), was a good marker for wood burning source such as wood type used for domestic heating and garden waste burning. On the Walpurgis Night, the urban background measurement demonstrated a dramatic increase in levoglucosan, benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), and oxygenated PAHs (OPAH) concentrations from the increased wood burning. A significant correlation between levoglucosan and OPAHs was observed, suggesting OPAHs to be an indicator of wood burning together with levoglucosan. The levoglucosan tracer method and modelling used in predicting the B[a]P concentration could not fully explain the measured levels in the cold season. The model showed that the local wood source contributed to 98 % of B[a]P emissions in Stockholm area and 2 % from the local traffic. However, non-local sources were dominating in urban background (60 %). A further risk assessment estimated that the airborne particulate PAHs caused 13.4 cancer cases per 0.1 million inhabitants in Stockholm County.

Hwanmi Lim et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-20', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 May 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Christer Johansson, 13 May 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-20', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 May 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Christer Johansson, 20 May 2022

Hwanmi Lim et al.

Hwanmi Lim et al.


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Short summary
Air pollutants from wood burning become more important as other regulated emissions are being reduced, e g combustion of diesel. We analysed particles in residential areas and found that local wood burning was the most important source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Specific tracers were used to separate wood combustion from other contributions. Calculations of population exposure showed that the mix of PAHs may cause 13 cancer cases per 0.1 million inhabitants.