Toxic PAH air pollutants from fossil fuels ‘multiply’ in sunlight

Ecology

Toxic PAH air pollutants from fossil fuels ‘multiply’ in sunlight

When power stations burn coal, a class of compounds called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs, form part of the resulting air pollution. Researchers have found that PAHs toxins degrade in sunlight into ‘children’ compounds and by-products.

Some ‘children’ compounds can be more toxic than the ‘parent’ PAHs. Rivers and dams affected by PAHs are likely contaminated by a much larger number of toxins than are emitted by major polluters, researchers show in Chemosphere.

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