A quantitative assessment of source contributions to fine particulate matter (PM2.5)-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their nitrated and hydroxylated derivatives in Hong Kong

Yiqiu Ma, Yubo Cheng, Xinghua Qiu*, Yan Lin, Jing Cao, Di HU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives are of great concern due to their adverse health effects. However, source identification and apportionment of these compounds, particularly their nitrated and hydroxylated derivatives (i.e., NPAHs and OHPAHs), in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Hong Kong are still lacking. In this study, we conducted a 1-year observation at an urban site in Hong Kong. PM2.5-bound PAHs and their derivatives were measured, with median concentrations of 4590, 44.4 and 31.6 pg m−3 for ∑21PAHs, ∑13NPAHs, and ∑12OHPAHs, respectively. Higher levels were observed on regional pollution days than on long regional transport (LRT) or local emission days. Based on positive matrix factorization analysis, four sources were determined: marine vessels, vehicle emissions, biomass burning, and a mixed source of coal combustion and NPAHs secondary formation. Coal combustion and biomass burning were the major sources of PAHs, contributing over 85% of PAHs on regional and LRT days. Biomass burning was the predominant source of OHPAHs throughout the year, while NPAHs mainly originated from secondary formation and fuel combustion. For benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)-based PM2.5 toxicity, the mixed source of coal combustion and NPAHs secondary formation was the major contributor, followed by biomass burning and vehicle emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-749
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume219
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Marine vessels
  • PM-bound PAHs and the derivatives
  • Regional transport
  • Source apportionment

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