Huarui Ren1, Xiongping Wu2, Wenchang Zhao3, Jinping Cheng  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1 

1 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2 Yulin Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, Yuilin 537000, China
3 College of Chemistry and Materials, Ningde Normal University, Ningde 352100, China

Received: December 14, 2023
Revised: March 9, 2024
Accepted: March 10, 2024

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Ren, H., Wu, X., Zhao, W., Cheng, J. (2024). Potential Risks of PM2.5 in Urban and Suburban Environments: A Dual Perspective on Chemical Constituents and Pollution Sources. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Vehicle exhaust increases notably during pollution event.
  • Priority harmful species: As, Cu, Pb, Se, and Zn.
  • The non-carcinogenic risks cannot be ignored in any scenario.
  • Source profiles help in understanding human health risk.


To investigate the chemical characteristics and source profiles of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) between suburban and urban areas, intensive observation and sample collection were conducted from November 2019 to January 2020 covering both clean and polluted days in Yulin, southwestern China. higher pollution levels were observed in urban areas during both clean and polluted days. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) receptor model and the analysis of absolute principal component scores-multiple linear regression (APCS-MLR) revealed that mixed sources and vehicle exhaust were significant contributors in both suburban and urban areas. Vehicle exhaust (36.0%), combustion sources (22.0%), and crustal dust (20.3%) were found to be the main factors affecting air quality on polluted days. The backward trajectory and the potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis indicated that the pollution primarily originated from local sources as well as neighboring cities. According to the geo-accumulation index ( ), As, Cu, Pb, Se, and Zn were identified as harmful species. Moreover, non-carcinogenic risks cannot be ignored, particularly for As and V. Inhalation exposure to combustion source is identified as the primary contributor to human health risks during both clean and polluted periods. Mixed sources and industry source were the main factors causing the carcinogenic risk between suburban and urban areas.

Keywords: Particle pollution, Chemical characteristics, Source profile, Regional transport, Health risks

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