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Abstract

Results of research on the hazard posed by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contained in the dusts emitted from motor vehicle braking systems have been presented. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) constitute a group of chemical compounds that pose a serious danger to the human health, chiefly because of their carcinogenic properties. Investigations into the issue of environmental pollution with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons generated by motor vehicle traffic were carried out in connection with the work being done at PIMOT on systems to reduce dust emission from motor vehicle braking systems. The investigations included determination of PAH contents of the dust emitted from vehicle braking systems as well as the PAH concentrations in the indoor air in a room with the stand for testing dust emissions from braking systems and in the duct to carry away gases from that room. Moreover, the PAH contents of soil were measured in the context of location of the soil sampling points in relation to traffic routes. The PAH contents were measured in Warsaw and in Zabrze. The investigation results confirmed that PAHs considered as being most harmful to the human health due to their carcinogenic properties were actually present in the dusts emitted from braking systems. The PAH contents of soil were found to be very sensitive to the location of the soil sampling points in relation to traffic routes and this is a confirmation of the thesis that motor traffic is an important source of environmental pollution with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
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