Mercury levels in road dust and household TSP/PM2.5 related to concentrations in hair in Guangzhou, China

Minjuan Huang, Wei Wang, Homan Leung, Chuen Yu Chan, Wing Keung Liu, Ming Hung WONG*, Kwai Chung Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Road dust, household total suspended particulate matters (TSP) and PM2.5 were collected in urban area of Guangzhou, south of China, to investigate the concentrations of total mercury (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg). The household PM2.5 concentrations varied between 16.2 and 623μg/m3. The average PM2.5 level (174μg/m3) from all of the locations exceeded 24-h concentration from WHO air quality guideline The average concentrations of THg and MeHg were: 235μg/kg and 0.392μg/kg in road dust, 600μg/kg and 1.49μg/kg in TSP; 1006μg/kg (104pg/m3) and 1.40μg/kg (0.134pg/m3) in PM2.5. Risk assessment showed that the Hazardous quotients (HQs) of exposure to Hg and MeHg via road dust and TSP were less than 1, indicating that no adverse risk was manifested. Ingestion of dust was found to constitute a relatively minor pathway of Guangzhou residents' exposure to Hg. Furthermore, human hair samples from 88 Guangzhou citizens were also analyzed to investigate the mercury accumulation in human body in Guangzhou. The average concentrations of THg and MeHg in human hair samples were 869±831μg/kg and 104±108μg/kg respectively. However, no significant correlations of the mercury species were noted between human hair and road dust, TSP and PM2.5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Household TSP
  • Human hair
  • Mercury
  • Road dust


Dive into the research topics of 'Mercury levels in road dust and household TSP/PM<sub>2.5</sub> related to concentrations in hair in Guangzhou, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this