Despite all efforts to optimize the sampling procedure for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) a part of the PAH is lost during the sampling period. The amount of loss depends on the vapour pressure, the air flow rate, the oxidants in the suspended matter and on the sampling time. The sampling time in return is determined by the PAH concentration in the atmosphere and cannot be shortened infinitely, at least not at the expense of the air flow rate. When the concentration of the PAH is extremely low, a repeated change of the filters is advisable. Losses of PAH even occur when filters are stored in the dark. An evaluation of these losses is difficult for many reasons. There is no relationship between the amount of loss and time unit; the decrease of each PAH is different and seems to depend on the composition of the particulate matter collected on the filter. The disappearance of the PAH from the filter is a continual process, therefore a rapid performance of the analysis is inevitable.
Tomingas, R 
- Duesseldorf Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Inst. fuer Lufthygiene und Silikoseforschung