Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 22, pp 22647–22657 | Cite as

Concentrations, properties, and health risk of PM2.5 in the Tianjin City subway system

  • Bao-Qing WangEmail author
  • Jian-Feng Liu
  • Zi-Hui Ren
  • Rong-Hui Chen
Research Article


A campaign was conducted to assess and compare the personal exposure in L3 of Tianjin subway, focusing on PM2.5 levels, chemical compositions, morphology analysis, as well as the health risk of heavy metal in PM2.5. The results indicated that the average concentration of the PM2.5 was 151.43 μg/m3 inside the train of the subway during rush hours. PM2.5 concentrations inside car under the ground are higher than those on the ground, and PM2.5 concentrations on the platform are higher than those inside car. Regarding metal concentrations, the highest element in PM2.5 samples was Fe; the level of which is 17.55 μg/m3. OC is a major component of PM2.5 in Tianjin subway. Secondary organic carbon is the formation of gaseous organic pollutants in subway. SEM–EDX and TEM–EDX exhibit the presence of individual particle with a large metal content in the subway samples. For small Fe metal particles, iron oxide can be formed easily. With regard to their sources, Fe-containing particles are generated mainly from mechanical wear and friction processes at the rail–wheel–brake interfaces. The non-carcinogenic risk to metals Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb, and carcinogenic hazard of Cr and Ni were all below the acceptable level in L3 of Tianjin subway.


Subway PM2.5 Elemental metals Iron Health risk 



This study was supported by a scholarship from the Chinese Scholarship Council (No.201406205010), the Environmental Protection Commonweal Industry Scientific Research Project (No.201009032) and National Major Scientific Instrument Equipment Development Special (No.2011YQ060111).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bao-Qing Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jian-Feng Liu
    • 1
  • Zi-Hui Ren
    • 1
  • Rong-Hui Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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