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Chemical Composition Characteristics of PM2.5 in Three Cities in Henan, Central China

Category: Aerosol and Atmospheric Chemistry

Volume: 17 | Issue: 10 | Pages: 2367-2380
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.10.0463
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Nan Jiang, Yue Guo, Qun Wang, Panru Kang, Ruiqin Zhang , Xiaoyan Tang

  • Research Institute of Environmental Science, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China


Annual concentrations of PM2.5 exceed ambient air quality standard at three sites.
Water-soluble ions NO3 and SO42– exist as (NH4)2SO4 and NH4NO3.
Luoyang site presented the largest EF of Mo among the three sites due to Mo mining.
Cr in PM2.5 may present highly potential carcinogenic risk when inhaled by adults.


The sites of Luoyang, Zhengzhou, and Pingdingshan in Henan, China were selected to investigate the chemical compositions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). A total of 165 PM2.5 samples from the three sites were collected from October 2014 to July 2015. Water-soluble inorganic ions, elemental carbon and organic carbon, and other elements in PM2.5 were analyzed by ion chromatography, carbon analyzer, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, respectively. Results showed that the annual average concentrations of PM2.5 in the three sites were significantly higher than the Chinese national ambient air quality standard. The seasonal average of PM2.5 concentration varied with the lowest concentrations of PM2.5 in summer. Among these sites, the highest concentrations of SO42– and NH4+ ions were observed in Luoyang with the highest concentration of NO3 detected in Zhengzhou. SO42–, NO3 and NH4+ ions occurred as (NH4)2SO4 and NH4NO3. For seasonal variation, the highest concentrations for Al, Fe and Ca were observed during spring in Pingdingshan and autumn in Zhengzhou and Luoyang, respectively. Enrichment factor (EF), as an indicator, is commonly used to evaluate the contribution of anthropogenic sources, and high EFs of Zn, Cu, and Cd in PM2.5 indicate the extent of air pollution, which is generally caused by emissions of vehicles and industries. Risks posed by heavy metals on human health were assessed. The hazard index, which was used to assess the overall potential for noncarcinogenic effects, was higher than 1 in the three sites, indicating that V, Cr, As, Mn, Cd, Co, and Ni may cause accumulative noncarcinogenic health effects on humans, without the noncancer effect of each heavy metal significant. Cr in PM2.5 is a potential carcinogenic risk when inhaled by adults. Overall, the results indicate that PM2.5 pollution must be considered seriously in three cities.


PM2.5 Water-soluble inorganic ions Secondary organic carbon Enrichment factor Carcinogenic risk

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