Fifty-four road dust samples were collected from principal roads (n = 37) and residential roads (n = 17) nationwide in Japan from March 2010 to November 2012. Sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and ignition loss (IL) were determined. The total PAH contents ranged from 62 to 6,325 ng g−1 with a geometric mean of 484 ng g−1. The IL ranged from 0.8 to 17% with a mean of 6%. The PAH contents were correlated with the IL contents, and the IL contents were dependent on the population density. From the PAH pattern analysis, the PAHs from road dust are considered to be mainly from diesel emissions.

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