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Evaluation of health risk associated with fireworks activity at Central London

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Risk analysis is extremely important in toxicology and public health studies. Health risk associated with the exposure to potentially toxic elements (PTEs), including As, Ba, Cr, Cu, Pb, Mn, Ni, Sb, Sr, V, and Zn, of ambient fine particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) at day and night time during firework events was assessed. An hourly PM2.5 elemental measurements were conducted from October 16 to November 16, 2014 at central London, using Xact™ 625 automated multi-metals monitor. Results showed higher concentration of metals attributable to firework combustion emissions (including: Ba, Cu, Sb, and Sr) at night time compared to day time. 95th percentile of total PM2.5-PTEs showed combined (inhalation and ingestion) non-cancer risk for children (hazardous index, HI: 3.0) and adults (HI: 1.58) at night time, implicating the fireworks events; PM2.5-PTEs was found to be potentially harmful to only children (HI: 2.2) at day time. Cancer risk of the inhalation and the ingestion of PM2.5-As and PM2.5-Cr was lower than the threshold level of concern for both children and adults.

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Authors would like to thank Anja Tremper and Max Priestman from the Environmental Research group/ School of Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London, UK, for their help in chemical measurements. Authors are grateful to Heather Walton at the School of Biomedical Sciences, King’s College London for her insightful comments on the manuscript. This work was funded by UK Natural Environment Research Council grants-Clearflo (NE/H003231/1) and Traffic (NE/I008039/1).

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Correspondence to Samera Hamad.

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Hamad, S., Green, D. & Heo, J. Evaluation of health risk associated with fireworks activity at Central London. Air Qual Atmos Health 9, 735–741 (2016).

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