Trace Elements and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Variation Along the Guang-Shen Expressway Before and After the 2016 Qingming Festival in Guangzhou

  • Jie LuoEmail author
  • Wenxiang He
  • Jian Wu
  • Xiaowen Sophie Gu
  • Lin Ye


PM2.5 samples (particles with aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 μm) were collected along the Guang-Shen expressway around the Qingming Festival, one of the most congested periods in China, which started from April 2–4, in 2016. Twenty-five trace elements and 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of the samples were analyzed. Their major sources at different periods were identified. The concentrations of PAHs distinctly increased with growing traffic flow 2 days before the Qingming Festival (March 31th and April 1st), decreased gradually on the first 2 days of the 3-day festival (April 2nd and 3rd) and rose again on the last day (April 4th). The proportion changing of higher molecular weight containing 5- and 6-ring PAHs (HMW PAHs) closely related to the traffic flow variation were consistent with the concentration variation of PAHs during the experimental period. Indicators of gasoline/diesel engines emission, i.e., Mo, Co, Mn, and Pb showed similar concentration variation with PAHs. The concentrations of trace elements, mainly derived from wear instead of combustion process, such as Cu, Zn, Ti, and Sb, raised significantly during the rainy days. Incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) values were calculated to evaluate the health risk caused by PAH around the Qingming Festival. The ILCR values increased by 3–10 times 2 days before and on the last day of the festival comparing with other days, as a result of traffic related sources, including engine emission and wearing of tires. It concluded by recommending the necessity of traffic diversion to alleviate the health risk to drivers and nearby residents during important festivals.



The authors thank the National Key Technical Projects (Project No. 2016ZX05047-005) for the financial support of this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

244_2018_582_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1591 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Luo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wenxiang He
    • 1
  • Jian Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaowen Sophie Gu
    • 3
  • Lin Ye
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentYangtze UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.China University of GeosciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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