Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in suspended particulate matter (SPM) from rivers Rhine and Saar
Significant higher contamination in industrialised areas with high population densities
PAH are emitted during combustion of fossil fuels. Moreover, they are a product of incomplete combustion of other organic materials. Therefore environmental PAH levels are especially high in densely populated areas and industrial regions.
Of all ESB sampling sites, PAH levels (sum of 12 compounds) are highest in SPM from the Saarland conurbation. In the river Rhine, PAH concentrations are generally lower and increase downstream. This increase is especially pronounced between the sampling sites Koblenz and Bimmen where the river flows through the densely populated area around Cologne and the Ruhr conurbation.
Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
Group of organic compounds with at least three condensed six-membered rings