The solvent extractable compounds of airborne particulate samples, which were collected on two occasions in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a standard high-volume air sampler, were investigated to determine the distributions of homologous and biomarker compounds. These preliminary results show that both samples contain n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and n-alkanols as the dominant solvent-extractable components, with minor amounts of n-alkanedioic acids, n-alkanones, terpenoids, sterols, and phthalate contaminants, derived from biogenic sources (vascular plant wax) and from anthropogenic utilization of fossil fuel products (lubricating oil, vehicle fuels, etc.). Some compositional differences are observed in the two samples and greater atmospheric concentrations were found for almost all organic components in the sample collected under hazy conditions. This is interpreted to be due to the local build-up of organic contaminants as a result of atmospheric stability during the haze episode, to atmospheric photochemical reactions, and to some unidentified anthropogenic activities which are peculiar to the city. Some of the organic components are also suspected to be brought in from areas outside the region.
M. Abas, B. Simoneit