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Bioaerosol Concentrations and Size Distributions during the Autumn and Winter Seasons in an Industrial City of Central China

Category: Bioaerosols

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.11.0422

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Ting Liu1, L.-W. Antony Chen 2,3, Mi Zhang3, John G. Watson3, Judith C. Chow3, Junji Cao4, Hongyu Chen1, Wei Wang1, Jiaquan Zhang1, Changlin Zhan1, Hongxia Liu1, Jingru Zheng1, Naiwen Chen5, Ruizhen Yao1, Wensheng Xiao1

  • 1 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hubei Key Laboratory of Mine Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation, Hubei Polytechnic University, Huangshi 435003, China
  • 2 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
  • 3 Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA
  • 4 Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics (KLACP), Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
  • 5 School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China


Bioaerosol numbers and size distributions were first quantified for Huangshi, China.
Bioaerosol number concentrations were higher than other cities in northern China.
Bioaerosol number concentrations were dominated by submicron particles.
Bioaerosol mass fractions were estimated at 2.4 ± 1.9% in PM2.5 and 4.8 ± 3.2% in PM10.
Higher bioaerosol concentrations were observed in winter and on polluted days.


Ambient bioaerosols in PM2.5 and PM10 samples were measured in Huangshi City, Hubei Province of China, during the autumn and winter seasons from November 2017 to February 2018. Both bioaerosol number concentration and size distribution (0.37–16 μm) were obtained by direct fluorescent staining coupled with microscopic imaging. Bioaerosol number concentrations ranged from 0.05 to 3.4 # cm-3 for PM2.5 and from 0.17 to 5.7 # cm-3 for PM10, with averages of 0.90 # cm-3 and 1.9 # cm-3, respectively. Bioaerosol numbers were dominated by fine particles of 0.37–2.5 μm diameter, while the proportion of submicron particles was more pronounced than supermicron particles. Assuming unit densities and spherical shapes to estimate mass concentrations, bioaerosols constituted 2.4 ± 1.9% of PM2.5 and 4.8 ± 3.2% of PM10 mass measured by a nearby compliance monitor. Higher bioaeorsol concentrations were observed in winter than during autumn, and on polluted than on non-polluted days. Under heavily-polluted conditions, bioaerosols in PM2.5 and PM10 were enriched by 6 and 3.7 times, respectively, as compared to the levels on non-polluted days and contributed up to 15% of PM10 mass. Rainfall and snowfall appeared to lower the bioaerosol levels. As enhanced emission controls on combustion and dust sources decrease PM levels in China, bioaerosols will constitute a larger fraction of measured PM concentrations.


Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) PM2.5 PM10 Size distribution Air quality Fluorescence microscopy

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