Chi-Fu Yeh1, Chon-Lin Lee 1,2,3,4, Peter Brimblecombe5

  • 1 Department of Marine Environment and Engineering, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Public Health, College of Health Science, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
  • 3 Asia-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan
  • 4 Research Center of Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
  • 5 School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Received: December 24, 2016
Revised: April 19, 2017
Accepted: June 5, 2017
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Cite this article:
Yeh, C.F., Lee, C.L. and Brimblecombe, P. (2017). Effects of Seasonality and Transport Route on Chemical Characteristics of PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 in the East Asian Pacific Rim Region. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 2988-3005.


  • Multiple approaches identified sources of metals-bound to PM2.5 and PM2.5-10.
  • Metal concentrations were dependent on the long-range transport route.
  • The metallic composition pattern showed distinct seasonal variations.
  • Impact of pollutants transported from the Southeast Asia was demonstrated.
  • Excess cancer risk was used to evaluate potential carcinogenicity of the metals.



This study investigated seasonal variation and transport routes of PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 associated metallic elements in the western coastal area of southern Taiwan. Particle sampling was conducted from March 2009 to February 2010. Sixteen metallic elements in PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 samples were determined by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Multiple approaches, backward trajectory analysis, enrichment factors (EFc), and principle component analysis (PCA), were used to identify the potential sources of the metallic elements. Analysis of the temporal distribution revealed seasonal peaks for most of the trace elements in PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 during winter season and the major elements in PM2.5-10 during the autumn season. The EFc confirmed that the main contributors of Cu, As, Zn, Pb, Cd, and Se were anthropogenic sources. PCA suggested traffic emissions, coal, and heavy oil combustion from both local and neighboring areas, as the major anthropogenic contributors at the sampling site. Backward trajectory analysis, demonstrated different chemical characteristics between the northeast (winter originating in China) and southwest monsoon (summer, from the Southeast Asia). Even in the same season, route-dependent effects of long-range transport in metallic concentrations and total excess cancer risk (ECR) of health-related metals were observed

Keywords: Enrichment factors; Metallic elements; Back trajectory analysis; Excess cancer risk

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