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Characterization of springtime airborne particulate matter-bound reactive oxygen species in Beijing

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Epidemiologic studies have suggested that particulate matter (PM)-associated adverse health effects are related to particle composition. To study the toxicological characteristics of dust storm, airborne PM10 was collected at two sites in Beijing from March to May 2012. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), quantified by dithiothreitol (DTT), was used to measure the PM-induced oxidative potential. Two dust storm (DS) samples were monitored during the sampling period: one happened on March 28th (DS1) and the other one was on April 28th (DS2). The backward trajectory results showed that both events originated from Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, respectively. The increased trends of ROS activities during the dust storm episode in PM10 were observed for all the dust storms owing to a higher concentration of water-soluble components for all the PM10 samples compared to nondust storm ones. Interestingly, the correlations between DTT consumption with water-soluble species yield interesting results about the spatial variability of redox activity between sites. In particular, a tracer of soil suspension, namely Fe, contributed the most fraction to ROS variability in the urban background site. Water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) made the highest contribution to ROS variability, suggesting that vehicle emission might be important driving factors of the PM-induced oxidative stress in the urban site.

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Financial support for this work has been provided by Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Nos. 8144044 and 8142017), the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41175104, 41305110, and 41375131), the University of the Chinese Academy Sciences “Hundred Talents of the Chinese Academy of Sciences” (Y12901FEA2), the Earmaked Fund of State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, CAS (LAPC-KF-2013-01), and the “Young Talent Program of Beijing Academy of Sciences and Technology (201301).” The authors gratefully acknowledge the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) for the provision of the HYSPLIT transport and dispersion model and/or READY website (http://www.ready.noaa.gov) used in this publication. The authors reported no other financial interests related to this research.

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Correspondence to Qingyang Liu or Yuanxun Zhang.

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Responsible editor: Constantini Samara

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Liu, Q., Zhang, Y., Liu, Y. et al. Characterization of springtime airborne particulate matter-bound reactive oxygen species in Beijing. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 9325–9333 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-2843-6

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  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Springtime
  • PM10
  • Dust storm