Occurrence, source, and risk assessment of atmospheric parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the coastal cities of the Bohai and Yellow Seas, China.Environ Pollut. 2019 Nov; 254(Pt B):113046.EP
Parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PPAHs) in the ambient air of the coastal cities near the Bohai and Yellow Seas were measured over a full year. The range and geometric average of total PPAH29 (29 species) were 5.16-1.22 × 103 and 118 ng/m3, respectively, with 77 ± 14% in a gaseous phase. The 16 priority components accounted for 90 ± 4% of the total mass concentration. The incremental life cancer risk (ILCR) via inhalation exposure to the PPAHs (3.17 × 10-4) was underestimated by 80%, as only the priority PPAHs were considered. The air concentrations of PPAHs in the Bohai Sea area were generally higher (p < 0.01) than those in the Yellow Sea area. A significant increase (p < 0.01) in the levels of PPAHs and large fractions of high molecular weight (HMW) components were observed in winter. Absorption by particulate organic carbon dominated in gas-particle partitioning of the PPAHs, and the seasonal variations in gas-particle partitioning of the low and moderate molecular weight compounds were more noticeable relative to the HMW species. In summer, significantly higher concentrations of PPAHs were found in the daytime than during nighttime, while the opposite case occurred in winter (p < 0.05). The positive matrix factorization (PMF) results indicated greater contributions of coal and biomass combustion to the PPAH emissions in the coastal cities of the Bohai Sea area compared with the Yellow Sea area. The burning of coal and biomass served as the main source of PPAHs in winter, while traffic exhaust was the dominant source in other seasons. The potential source contribution function (PSCF) revealed the important impacts of the external inputs on the local PPAHs via air mass transport. The contributions of the resolved emission sources to the ILCR were clearly different from those of the mass concentrations, indicating the necessity for source-oriented risk assessments.