Seasonal characteristics and health risks of PM2.5-bound organic pollutants in industrial and urban areas of a China megacity.


International Center for Ecology, Meteorology, and Environment, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology (AEET), School of Applied Meteorology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Organic pollutants are important harmful components in atmospheric fine particulate matters (PM2.5), health risks of which varied with temporal and spatial distributions. To clarify the characteristics of atmospheric organic pollution, the concentrations, sources, and human health risks of typical organic compositions in PM2.5 samples from both industrial and urban areas of Nanjing in eastern China were investigated monthly for a year. Results showed that, the concentrations of PM2.5-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and n-alkanes were higher in winter and spring than those in summer and autumn. The organic pollution was slightly higher in industrial than urban area, though the PAHs in autumn and the n-alkanes in warm season (summer and autumn) were higher in urban area. With regards to the pollutant sources, the atmospheric PAHs were dominated by motor vehicle exhaust in the urban area, and combined with coal combustion emission in the industrial area. Airborne n-alkanes were mainly from biological source accompanied by fossil fuel combustion in industrial area. The PM2.5-bound PAHs indicated higher risks to adults in industrial area than in urban area with the seasonal patterns: winter > spring > autumn > summer. More attention should be paid to the health risks of exposure to organic pollutants accumulated in PM2.5 during cold season. Controlling vehicle emissions might be the key measure for alleviating atmospheric PAHs and n-alkanes pollution in megacities, while coal purification can be an effective control method in industrial areas.


Aerosol pollution,Human health risk assessments,N-alkanes,PAHs,Source apportionments,Spatial-temporal distributions,