Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23966–23976 | Cite as

Source contributions to total concentrations and carcinogenic potencies of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in ambient air: a case study in Suzhou City, China

  • Zhiqiang Xuan
  • Chenglu Bi
  • Jiafu Li
  • Jihua Nie
  • Zhihai Chen
Research Article


The potential source categories and source contributions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in ambient air from Suzhou City, China, were performed by principal component analysis-multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR) and positive matrix factorization (PMF). The carcinogenic potencies of PCDD/Fs were quantitatively apportioned based on the positive matrix factorization-toxic equivalent concentration (PMF-TEQ) method. The results of the present study were summarized as follows. (1) The total concentrations and toxic equivalent concentrations of PCDD/Fs (∑PCDD/Fs and TEQ) in ambient air from Suzhou City were 1.34–42.80 pg N m−3 and 0.081–1.22 pg I-TEQ N m−3, respectively. (2) PCA-MLR suggested that industrial combustion (IC), electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and secondary aluminum smelters (ALSs), unleaded gas-fueled vehicle sources (UGFVs), ALSs, and hazardous solid waste incinerators (HSWIs) could be the primary PCDD/F contributors, accounting for 13.2, 16.7, 35.5, 19.4, and 15.2% of ∑PCDD/Fs, respectively. (3) PMF and PMF-TEQ indicated that EAFs (carbon steel), UGFVs, IC, ALSs, municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) and hospital waste incinerators (HWIs), and HSWIs contributed 10.9, 10.9, 42.8, 11.3, 10.7, and 13.4% to ∑PCDD/Fs, but contributed 8.3, 12.3, 50.3, 12.7, 6.0, and 10.4% to carcinogenic potencies of PCDD/Fs. This study was the first attempt to quantitatively apportion the source-specific carcinogenic potencies of PCDD/Fs in ambient air.


PCDD/Fs Ambient air Sources PCA, PMF, and PMF-TEQ 



The samples were tested by Jiangsu Levei Testing Company Limited of China. In addition, the present research was supported by the Science and Technology Development Fund of Wuxi City (CES12N1605), Academician Workstation of Wuxi City (CYR1602), Environmental Protection Research Project of the Environmental Protection Department of Jiangsu Province (2012029), National Science Foundation of China (81402626), and Jiangsu Province Postdoctoral Science Foundation Grant (2015M571811 and 1402175C).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Chemistry & Chemical EngineeringJiangsu University of TechnologyChangzhou CityChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu Levei Testing Company LimitedWuxiChina
  4. 4.School of Public Health Medical College of Soochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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