Size-segregated particulate matter bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) over China: Size distribution, characteristics and health risk assessment.


State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China; Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with size-segregated particulate matter at 10 sampling sites over China which can be grouped into North China and South China, including urban site, sub-urban site, farmland site and background site, from January 2013 to December 2014 were analyzed by Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry. This is the first time for comprehensive studies on the size-segregated PAHs at the national level. The spatial variations of particulate PAHs showed that Xinaghe (XH), Yucheng (YC) and Shenyang (SHY) in North China had higher particulate PAHs mass concentrations than other sampling sites. The seasonal variations of PAHs exhibited the highest mass concentrations in winter, which could be caused by the increase in emission, lower temperatures and weaker solar radiation. Particulate PAHs were found to be dominant in fine size range of <1.1 μm, the same as individual PAH compounds. The dominant species in particulate PAHs are benzo[b + k]fluoranthene (BBKF), indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene (IP) and benzo[g,h,i]perylene (BghiP), indicating that fossil fuel combustion could be an important source for PAHs over China. BaP, a carcinogen to humans, also had much higher mass concentrations at XH, SHY and YC in North China than other sites. Toxicity equivalent quantities (TEQ) and the lifetime excess cancer risk (ECR) analysis showed that XH, SHY and YC in North China suffered more serious health risk from PAHs than other sites. In addition, higher TEQ and higher ECR were found in the size range of <1.1 μm, indicating that finer particles are associated with higher toxicity.


Characteristics,Health risk,Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,Size distribution,

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