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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-576
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-576
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  22 Jun 2020

22 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Nation wide increase of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ultrafine particles during winter over China

Qingqing Yu1, Xiang Ding1,4, Quanfu He1, Weiqiang Yang5, Ming Zhu1,2, Sheng Li1,2, Runqi Zhang1,2, Ruqin Shen1, Yanli Zhang1,3,4, Xinhui Bi1,4, Yuesi Wang3,6, Ping’an Peng1,4, and Xinming Wang1,2,3,4 Qingqing Yu et al.
  • 1StateKey Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Protection and Resources Utilization, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy ofSciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 4Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Joint Laboratory for Environmental Pollution and Control, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Science, Guangzhou 510640, China
  • 5Guangdong Provincial Academy of Environmental Science,Guangzhou 510045, China
  • 6StateKey Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China

Abstract. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic compounds in the atmosphere and have adverse effects on public health, especially through the inhalation of particulate matter (PM). At present, there are limited understandings in size distribution of particulate-bound PAHs and its health risk on a continental scale. In this study, we carried out a one-year PM campaign and simultaneously measured size-segregated PAHs at 12 sites across six regions of China. The annual averages of total 24 PAHs (∑24PAHs) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) carcinogenic equivalent concentration (BaPeq) ranged from 7.56 to 205 ng m−3 with a mean of 53.5 ng m−3 and 0.21 to 22.2 ng m−3 with a mean of 5.02 ng m−3, respectively. At all the sites, ∑24PAHs and BaPeq were dominated in the ultrafine particles with aerodynamic diameter <1.1 μm, followed by those in the size ranges of 1.1–3.3 µm and >3.3 µm. Compared with the southern China, the northern China witnessed much higher ∑24PAHs (87.36 ng m−3 vs. 17.56 ng m−3), BaPeq (8.48 ng m−3 vs. 1.34 ng m−3) and PAHs inhalation cancer risk (7.4 × 10−4 vs. 1.2 × 10−4). Nationwide increases in both PAH levels and inhalation cancer risk occurred in winter. The unfavorable meteorological conditions and enhanced emissions of coal combustion and biomass burning together led to severe PAHs pollution and high cancer risk in the atmosphere of the northern China, especially during winter. Our results suggested that the reduction of coal and biofuel consumption in the residential sector could be crucial and effective to lower PAH concentrations and its inhalation cancer risk in China.

Qingqing Yu et al.

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Qingqing Yu et al.

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Short summary
We carried out a one-year PM concurrent observation at 12 sites across six regions of China, and size-segregated PAHs were measured. We found both PAHs and BaPeq were concentrated in PM1.1, the northern China had high PAHs pollution and inhalation cancer risk than the southern China, nationwide increases in both PAH levels and inhalation cancer risk occurred in winter. We suggest reduce coal and biofuel consumption in the residential sector is an important option to mitigate PAHs’ health risks.
We carried out a one-year PM concurrent observation at 12 sites across six regions of China, and...
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