A methodology for the extraction and quantification of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) based on microwave-assisted extraction coupled with headspace solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy was validated for needles and bark of two pine species ( Ait. and L.). The limits of detection were below 0.92 ng g(-1) (dry weight) for needles and below 0.43 ng g(-1) (dw) for bark. Recovery assays were performed with two sample masses spiked at three levels and the overall mean values were between 70 and 110 % for and 75 and 129 % for . In the first species, the increase in sample mass lowered the recoveries slightly for most PAHs, whereas for the second, the recoveries were higher for the needles. Naturally contaminated samples from 4 sites were analysed, with higher levels for urban sites (1,320 and 942 ng g(-1) (dw) vs. 272 and 111 ng g(-1) (dw) for needles and 696 and 488 ng g(-1) (dw) vs. 270 and 103 ng g(-1) (dw) for bark) than for rural ones and also for samples over . It is also shown that gas-phase PAHs are predominant in the needles (over 65 % of the total PAHs) and that the incidence for particulate material in bark, reaching 40 % as opposed to a maximum below 20 % for the needles. The method has proved to be fit and improved some of the existing approaches, on the assessment of particulate PAHs and bark levels.
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