Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 1071–1083 | Cite as

PM2.5 levels, chemical composition and health risk assessment in Xinxiang, a seriously air-polluted city in North China

  • Jinglan FengEmail author
  • Hao Yu
  • Shuhui Liu
  • Xianfa Su
  • Yi Li
  • Yuepeng Pan
  • Jianhui SunEmail author
Original Paper


Seventeen PM2.5 samples were collected at Xinxiang during winter in 2014. Nine water-soluble ions, 19 trace elements and eight fractions of carbonaceous species in PM2.5 were analyzed. PM2.5 concentrations and elements species during different periods with different pollution situations were compared. The threat of heavy metals in PM2.5 was assessed using incremental lifetime cancer risk. During the whole period, serious regional haze pollution persisted, and the averaged concentration of PM2.5 was 168.5 μg m−3, with 88.2 % of the daily samples exhibiting higher PM2.5 concentrations than the national air quality standard II. The high NO3 /SO4 2− ratio suggested that vehicular exhaust made an important contribution to atmospheric pollution. All of organic carbon and elemental carbon ratios in this study were above 2.0 for PM2.5, which might reflect the combined contributions from coal combustion, motor vehicle exhaust and biomass burning. Mean 96-h backward trajectory clusters indicated that more serious air pollution occurred when air masses transported from the Hebei, Shanxi and Zhengzhou. The concentrations of the water-soluble ions and trace elements on haze days were 2 and 1.8 times of those on clear days. The heavy metals in PM2.5 might not cause non-cancerous health issues by exposure through the human respiratory system. However, lifetime cancer risks of heavy metals obviously exceeded the threshold (10−6) and might have a cancer risk for residents in Xinxiang. This study provided detailed composition data and comprehensive analysis of PM2.5 during the serious haze pollution period and their potential impact on human health in Xinxiang.


PM2.5 Haze Air trajectory Health risk Xinxiang 



This study was supported by the National Scientific Foundation of China (Grant No. 41103071), Program for Science and Technology Innovation talents in universities of Henan Province (14HASTIT049) and Foundation for University Key Teacher by Henan Province (2013GGJS-059), Key Project of Science and Technology in Henan Province (152102310316) and Program for Science and Technology Development in Xinxiang (15SF02).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment, Henan Normal University, Key Laboratory for Yellow River and Huai River Water Environment and Pollution Control, Ministry of EducationHenan Key Laboratory for Environmental Pollution ControlXinxiangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Arizona Department of Environmental QualityPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry (LAPC), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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