Sung Ho Hwang 1, Dong Uk Park2

National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Gyeonggi-do 410-769, Korea
Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea

Received: July 13, 2018
Revised: September 27, 2018
Accepted: November 6, 2018
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Cite this article:
Hwang, S.H. and Park, D.U. (2019). Ambient Endotoxin and Chemical Pollutant (PM10, PM2.5, and O3) Levels in South Korea. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 786-793.


  • Airborne endotoxin, particulate matter (PM) 10 μm, 2.5 μm, and O3 levels were measured.
  • The relationship between these parameters and the factors affecting them were analyzed.
  • Endotoxin was found to correlate negatively with O3 and temperature.
  • Endotoxin was found to be higher in the fall and winter as compared to summer.


We measured the levels of airborne endotoxins in South Korea and compared them to PM10, PM2.5, and O3 levels in ambient environments; environmental factors affecting these levels were also analyzed. A total of 81 air samples were collected and analyzed using the kinetic Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay. The geometric mean was determined for the levels of endotoxin (0.132 EU m–3), PM10 (51.9 µg m–3), PM2.5 (22.6 µg m–3), and O3 (0.018 ppm). The endotoxin levels were significantly higher in fall and winter than in summer. The levels of PM10 and PM2.5 were significantly higher, and the level of O3 was by far its highest, in spring. Negative correlations were found between the endotoxin and O3 levels (r = –0.491) and between the endotoxin levels and temperature (r = –0.302). The PM10 levels were also negatively associated with the O3 levels and temperature but positively associated with the PM2.5 levels. Given the negative relationship between airborne endotoxins and O3 determined here, further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to identify the responsible mechanisms.

Keywords: Endotoxins; Particulate matter; Ozone; Ambient conditions; Seasons.


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