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Characteristics, sources and health risk assessment of toxic heavy metals in PM2.5 at a megacity of southwest China.

Environ Geochem Health; 38(2): 353-62, 2016 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26048341
Twenty trace elements in fine particulate matters (i.e., PM2.5) at urban Chengdu, a southwest megacity of China, were determined to study the characteristics, sources and human health risk of particulate toxic heavy metals. This work mainly focused on eight toxic heavy metal elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn). The average concentration of PM2.5 was 165.1 ± 84.7 µg m(-3) during the study period, significantly exceeding the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (35 µg m(-3) in annual average). The particulate heavy metal pollution was very serious in which Cd and As concentrations in PM2.5 significantly surpassed the WHO standard. The enrichment factor values of heavy metals were typically higher than 10, suggesting that they were mainly influenced by anthropogenic sources. More specifically, the Cr, Mn and Ni were slightly enriched, Cu was highly enriched, while As, Cd, Pb and Zn were severely enriched. The results of correlation analysis showed that Cd may come from metallurgy and mechanical manufacturing emissions, and the other metals were predominately influenced by traffic emissions and coal combustion. The results of health risk assessment indicated that As, Mn and Cd would pose a significant non-carcinogenic health risk to both children and adults, while Cr would cause carcinogenic risk. Other toxic heavy metals were within a safe level.