In this study, we characterized the concentration of heavy metals in PM2.5 in the community with e-waste dismantling, Guiyu, China and assessed potential public health risk associated with heavy metal composition of PM2.5 for local residents. Daily samples of PM2.5 were collected with Harvard Impactors on the roof of 3-story buildings from March 2012–April 2013 in Guiyu (n = 133) and seasonal samples were collected in a reference site, Haojiang (n = 33). The concentrations of PM2.5 mass and heavy metals were analyzed gravimetrically and by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, respectively. The geometric mean concentrations of PM2.5, Pb and Cd in Guiyu were higher than in the reference area (PM2.5: 49.9 µg m–3 vs. 37.6 , p < 0.01; Pb: 160 ng m–3 vs. 69 ng m–3, p < 0.001; Cd: 5.7 ng m–3 vs. 3.4 ng m–3, p < 0.01), but Cr and Mn concentrations were not statistically different (Cr: 4.5 ng m–3 vs. 3.8 ng m–3, p > 0.05; Mn: 17 ng m–3 vs. 16 ng m–3, p > 0.05). The metal concentrations in PM2.5 from Guiyu were also higher when compared to other Asian cities. We observed higher heavy metal concentrations during winter and spring than summer and fall. Human health risk assessment showed that the total potential cancer risk for both adults and children are higher than the safe acceptable range recommended by the US EPA. Furthermore, the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic elements in PM2.5 pose higher public health risk to children than adults. The results indicate that air pollution emitted from informal e-waste recycling activities might be affecting the health of local residents, especially children.