Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and they mostly stem from the imperfect combustion of fossil fuels and biofuels. PAHs are inherently associated with homogenous fine particles or distributed to different-sized particles during the aging of air masses. PAHs carried by fine particles undergo a long-range transport to remote areas while those adsorbed on coarse particles have a shorter lifetime in ambient air.


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Photo credit:  David Holt (CC BY 2.0)