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Atmospheric levels, variations, sources and health risk of PM 2.5 -bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during winter over the North China Plain.


PM-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during winter 2015 at three urban sites, including Beijing, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang, and one background site (Xinglong) over the North China Plain (NCP) were investigated. The spatial variations of PAHs showed the same trends with PM mass concentrations, i.e. the highest PAHs concentrations was in Shijiazhuang, followed by Tianjin, Beijing and the lowest PAHs concentrations was in Xinglong. The diurnal variations of PAHs exhibited PAHs concentrations during nighttime were higher than those during daytime. The dominant species in PAHs were fluranthene and benzo[b + k]fluoranthene, indicating that diesel vehicle emission, coal combustion and biomass burning could be important and potential sources for PAHs over the NCP. There results were supported by diagnostic ratios analysis. But coefficient of divergence analysis showed that a high extent of spatial contrast among four sampling sites, except between Beijing and Tianjin. Analysis of toxicity equivalent quantities (TEQ) and the lifetime excess cancer risk (ECR) from inhalation exposure to PAHs showed that 818, 1517, 5129 and 182 cases per 100,000 people exposed in Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and Xinglong, respectively, which were much higher than the threshold value suggested by US-EPA, i.e. 1 case per 100,000 people, and indicating that the NCP suffered from very serious health risk from PAHs, especially in Shijiazhuang. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.