oa South African Journal of Chemistry - Measurements of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and genotoxicity in soot deposited at a toll plaza near Durban, South Africa

Volume 58, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-4350



This research was designed to examine the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soot deposited at the Mariannhill toll plaza situated on the N3 highway in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Samples were collected from the toll plaza either by scraping the toll booth walls and surrounding areas, or by wiping the surfaces with cotton wool swabs. The organic component was separated by ultrasonic extraction into dichloromethane and analysed for PAHs by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography with both fluorescence and ultraviolet detection. The genotoxicity was investigated by means of two bacterial assays: the Ames test and the SOS Chromotest. A number of PAHs were identified and genotoxic activity was observed in both of the assays.

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