Articles online

Source Specific Cyto- and Genotoxicity of Atmospheric Aerosol Samples

Category: Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Aerosols

Volume: 15 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 2325-2331
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.03.0131

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Ágnes Filep 1,2, Luka Drinovec3, Andrea Palágyi4, László Manczinger4, Csaba Vágvölgyi4, Zoltán Bozóki1,2, Regina Hitzenberger5, Gábor Szabó1,2

  • 1 Department of Optics and Quantum Electronics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • 2 MTA-SZTE Research Group on Photoacoustic Spectroscopy, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • 3 Aerosol d.o.o., Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 4 Department of Microbiology, FSI, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • 5 Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Wien, Austria


We determined cyto- and genotoxicity of PM2.5 samples.
We performed on-line source apportionment based on Aethalometer measurement.
We measured OC/EC and heavy metal content of PM2.5 samples.
We revealed connection between emission source and cyto- and genotoxicity.


Atmospheric aerosol samples were studied during wintry conditions at three Hungarian locations (rural background, urban background, traffic site). Ratio of biomass burning and fossil fuel related aerosol were highly different at the sampling points. Cyto- and genotoxicity of the samples were measured by using Pseudomonas putida growth inhibition test and Ames test, respectively. Dominant particle emission sources were apportioned through tracer heavy metal content measurement, optically and thermo-optically methods. According to the results, both ecotoxicity parameters are strongly emission source dependent; the higher the ratio of the biomass burning related carbonaceous aerosol the higher the cytotoxicity and the higher the ratio of the fossil fuel related carbonaceous aerosol the higher the genotoxicity. Cytotoxicity showed positive correlation with carbonaceous aerosol related to biomass burning (R2 = 0.74) and negative with lead content of the samples (R2 = –0.56). Genotoxicity showed positive correlation with carbonaceous aerosol related to traffic (R2 = 0.42) and cadmium content of the samples (R2 = 0.74). At the same time, it showed negative correlation with organic/elemental carbon ratio of the samples (R2 = –0.43).


PM2.5 Source apportionment Toxicology

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