Xinyi Niu1, Yu Huang2,3, Shun Cheng Lee4, Jian Sun5, Kin Fai Ho 1

The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710075, China
State Key Lab of Loess and Quaternary Geology (SKLLQG), Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China

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Niu, X., Huang, Y., Lee, S.C., Sun, J. and Ho, K.F. (2020). Surface Characterization of Secondary Organic Aerosols from Ozonolysis of Monoterpene and the Effects of Acute Lung Injury in Mice. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.,


  • Aromatic and aliphatic carbon dominated in SOAs from O3 and monoterpene reactions.
  • NH3 enhanced O3/monoterpene reactions and formed more amide and carboxylic carbon.
  • Acute lung injury with oxidative stress in BALF were caused after exposed to SOAs.


Monoterpene is a biogenic volatile organic compound commonly found in cleaning products and air fresheners. It can react rapidly with indoor oxidants such as ozone (O3) to produce secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) in indoor environments, and the reactions can be influenced by ammonia (NH3). This study simulated the reactions of O3 and monoterpene with and without the presence of NH3 in an environmental chamber. The surface characterization (elements and carbon states) of PM2.5 generated from the reactions were investigated. The results indicated that fine particles with a larger amount of nitrogen-containing organic compounds were generated with the presence of NH3. Unsubstituted aromatic carbon and aliphatic carbon were the main carbon structure that occupied over 60% of the carbon-containing compounds. With the presence of NH3, more amide carbon and carboxylic carbon were formed in the reactions. Acute lung injury in mice caused by new particle formation in different reaction conditions were investigated. Oxidative stress was observed in mice bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, as evidenced by a decrease in antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase) and antioxidant (glutathione) as well as an increase in malondialdehyde. Moreover, SOAs from the reactions with the presence of NH3 decreased glutathione levels, indicating the increase of oxidative stress. Fine particles formed by indoor oxidation reactions could trigger acute lung injury in humans, which could cause further respiratory diseases.

Keywords: Indoor air pollution; SOA; Oxidative stress; Acute lung injury

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