Test proficiency testing scheme for higher molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

The new proficiency testing scheme for higher molecular weight PAHs serves as a quality assurance measure for interested laboratories that want to be prepared for a possible expansion of those PAHs prioritised by the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) in air samples. For this purpose, air samples are simulated using unlaminated PTFE filters from the manufacturer SKC with a diameter of 37 mm and a pore size of 1 µm as carrier material (article number 225-3705). The following PAHs were selected for the PT scheme:

PAH CAS Number
Anthanthrene 191-26-4
Benzo[a]pyrene 50-32-8
Coronene 191-07-1
Dibenz[a,h]anthracene 53-70-3
Dibenzo[a,e]pyrene 192-65-4
Dibenzo[a,i]pyrene 189-55-9
Dibenzo[a,h]pyrene 191-30-0
Dibenzo[a,l]pyrene 191-30-0
Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene 193-39-5
5-Methylchrysene 3697-24-3

The analytes were selected primarily based on carcinogenicity and the availability of standards. The concentrations will lie between 30 and 100 ng per PAH per filter. Internal laboratory methods can be used to process and analyse the filters. Both gas chromatographic and liquid chromatographic methods are suitable [1] [2].

The filters are loaded using an electronic pipette at two different concentration levels. Each participant receives a sample kit comprising:

  • six loaded filters (three filters per concentration level) and
  • two blank filters for blank value adjustment.

The filters are sent slightly rolled up in glass vials.

The PT scheme will be offered in 2024 as a test PT scheme at a discounted price of 100 € excluding shipping costs and VAT. If there is sufficient interest and it is possible to analyse the data, we will include the PT scheme in the standard PT programme.


Proficiency testing 2024


[1] H. Assenmacher-Maiworm, B. Heinrich, D. Breuer, Polycyclische aromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe (PAK), schwerer flüchtig. Kennzahl 8408. IFA-Arbeitsmappe 2018, 01/2018.

[2] NIOSH, PAH in Air by GC-MS SIM: METHOD 5528. NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, Fifth Edition 2021, Issue 1.


Department Chemical and Biological Hazards

Krista Gusbeth
Brigitte Maybaum
Franziska Nürnberger
Ronja Schneck