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Atmosphere 2017, 8(5), 91; doi:10.3390/atmos8050091

Seasonal Variation and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in PM2.5 during Winter and Summer over Xi’an, China

1
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
2
SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
3
Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guey-Rong Sheu
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [812 KB, uploaded 21 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

In this study, 24 h PM2.5 (particles with an equivalent diameter equal to or below 2.5 μm) samples were collected in winter and summer in Xi’an, Northwestern China to characterize the seasonal variations of eleven elements (As, Cd, Cr, Fe, K, Mn, Mo, Pb, Ni, Zn, and Cu) and to evaluate their health risks by using the US EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) method. Mass concentrations of the elements (except Ni) in winter were much higher than those in summer, with similar variations for both seasons. The levels of elements followed a decreasing order of K > Zn > Fe > Pb > Cr > As > Mn > Cu > Mo > Ni > Cd. According to the enrichment factor (EF) analysis, the highest EF value for Cd inferred that it should be linked with the metal smelting and other anthropogenic sources. In contrast, the EF values of K and Mn (1 < EF < 5) suggested that they were influenced by both natural and anthropogenic sources. The daily average exposure dose for children and adults by different exposure pathways were both ingestion > dermal contact > inhalation. The non-cancer risks for different exposure pathways showed different orders. The non-cancer risks (hazard quotients) were lower than the average risk threshold (1.0) except for As, Pb, and Cr, which require greater attention. Elements of As and Cr were higher than the cancer risk threshold value (1 × 10−6), indicating that the cancer risks of PM2.5 elements in Xi’an should be a concern. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5; metals; enrichment factor; non-cancer risk; cancer risk PM2.5; metals; enrichment factor; non-cancer risk; cancer risk
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, P.; Lei, Y.; Ren, H.; Gao, J.; Xu, H.; Shen, Z.; Zhang, Q.; Zheng, C.; Liu, H.; Zhang, R.; Pan, H. Seasonal Variation and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in PM2.5 during Winter and Summer over Xi’an, China. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 91.

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