Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2817–2825 | Cite as

Source, distribution, and health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban street dust from Tianjin, China

  • Binbin Yu
  • Xiujie Xie
  • Lena Q. Ma
  • Haidong Kan
  • Qixing Zhou
Research Article


To better assess and understand potential health risk of urban residents exposed to urban street dust, the total concentration, sources, and distribution of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 87 urban street dust samples from Tianjin as a Chinese megacity that has undergone rapid urbanization were investigated. In the meantime, potential sources of PAHs were identified using the principal component analysis (PCA), and the risk of residents’ exposure to PAHs via urban street dust was calculated using the Incremental Lifetime Cancer Risk (ILCR) model. The results showed that the total PAHs (∑PAHs) in urban street dust from Tianjin ranged from 538 μg kg−1 to 34.3 mg kg−1, averaging 7.99 mg kg−1. According to PCA, the two to three- and four to six-ring PAHs contributed 10.3 and 89.7 % of ∑PAHs, respectively. The ratio of the sum of major combustion specific compounds (ΣCOMB) / ∑PAHs varied from 0.57 to 0.79, averaging 0.64. The ratio of Ant/(Ant + Phe) varied from 0.05 to 0.41, averaging 0.10; Fla/(Fla + Pyr) from 0.40 to 0.68, averaging 0.60; BaA/(BaA + Chry) from 0.29 to 0.51, averaging 0.38; and IcdP/(IcdP + BghiP) from 0.07 to 0.37, averaging 0.22. The biomass combustion, coal combustion, and traffic emission were the main sources of PAHs in urban street dust with the similar proportion. According to the ILCR model, the total cancer risk for children and adults was up to 2.55 × 10−5 and 9.33 × 10−5, respectively.


Health risk assessment PAHs Urban street dust Urban soil Pollution source 



We gratefully acknowledge that this work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China as a key project (grant no. 21037002) and the National Key Basic Research Program (973) of China (grant no. 2011CB503802).

Supplementary material

11356_2013_2190_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (184 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 183 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Binbin Yu
    • 1
  • Xiujie Xie
    • 1
  • Lena Q. Ma
    • 2
  • Haidong Kan
    • 3
  • Qixing Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Ministry of Education (MOE) Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Soil and Water Science DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Ministry of Education (MOE) Key Laboratory of Public Health SafetySchool of Public Health, Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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