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Kirk T O'Reilly, Jaana Pietari and Paul D Boehm Parsing pyrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Forensic chemistry, receptor models, and source control policy Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 10

Article first published online: 23 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1506

Key Points

  • Receptor models can be useful tools for evaluating contaminant sources, but careful consideration of each model's underlying assumption is critical. These include that all potential sources have been identified and their chemical profiles are known and stable.
  • Given the variability within and similarity among pyrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) source types, receptor models may not be able to accurately estimate their individual contributions.
  • When used to support source control policy decisions, the inherent uncertainties in the results of receptor models must be described in a way that are understandable to nontechnical policy makers.
  • In a case study, a multiple-lines-of-evidence evaluation did not support the receptor model based claim that parking-lot sealers are a significant source of PAHs in urban sediments.

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