Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 683–694 | Cite as

Seasonal variation and health risk assessment of atmospheric PM2.5-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in a classic agglomeration industrial city, central China

  • Tianpeng Hu
  • Jiaquan ZhangEmail author
  • Xinli Xing
  • Changlin Zhan
  • Li Zhang
  • Hongxia Liu
  • Ting Liu
  • Jingru Zheng
  • Ruizhen Yao
  • Junji Cao


Sixty atmospheric sample concentrations of PM2.5 and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in PM2.5 were analyzed in distinct seasonal variations from a classic agglomeration industrial city. The concentrations of PM2.5 ranged from 6.96 to 260.06 μg/m3 with an average of 177.05 μg/m3. Only 38% of the sampling days were superior to the 24-h limit value (75 μg/m3) of ambient air quality standards (AAQs), and the samples from autumn and winter exceeded the limit value. The total PAHs ranged from 1.51 to 44.51 ng/m3 with an average of 10.65 ng/m3. The highest and lowest concentrations of total PAHs appeared in winter and summer with averages of 22.56 and 4.03 ng/m3, respectively. Correlation analysis revealed that high-molecular-weight PAHs (HMW-PAHs) (4-, 5-, 6-ring PAHs) were significantly and negatively correlated with temperature and water-soluble total organic carbon (WTOC), and significantly correlated with water-soluble total nitrogen (WTN). The 4-, 5- and 6-ring PAHs were dominant, especially those of 4-ring PAHs, which were above 30% of the total PAHs in each season. Source apportionment indicated that PM2.5-bound PAHs in Huangshi were mainly derived from pyrogenic source, vehicle exhaust, coal combustion, and biomass burning. Incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCRs) showed no potential carcinogenic risk from the PM2.5-bound BaP-eq. ILCRs in winter were the highest, and the risks for adults were approximately an order of magnitude higher than those for children.


PAHs Particulate matter (PM) Industrial city Seasonal variations Health risk assessment 



We gratefully thank Yong Zhang for collecting the sample.

Funding information

The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0212602), the Hubei Universities of Outstanding Young Scientific and Technological Innovation Team Plans (T201729), the Special Scientific Research Funds for National Basic Research Program of China (2013FY112700), the Outstanding Youth Science and Technology Innovation Team Projects of Hubei Polytechnic University (13xtz07), the Open Research Fund of Key Laboratory of Minal Environmental Pollution Control and Remedition in Hubei Province (201702).

Supplementary material

11869_2018_575_MOESM1_ESM.docx (410 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 409 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hubei key Laboratory of Mine Environmental Pollution Control and RemediationHubei Polytechnic UniversityHuangshiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, School of Environmental StudiesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina

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