Rush-hour aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons in selected subway stations of Shanghai, China

Yanli Zhang, Chunlei Li, Xinming Wang, Hai Guo, Yanli Feng, Jianmin Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Air samples were collected simultaneously at platform, mezzanine and outdoor in five typical stations of subway system in Shanghai, China using stainless steel canisters and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass selective detector (GC-MSD) after cryogenic pre-concentration. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) at the platforms and mezzanines inside the stations averaged (10.3 ± 2.1), (38.7 ± 9.0), (19.4 ± 10.1) and (30.0 ± 11.1) μg/m3, respectively; while trichloroethylene (TrCE), tetrachloroethylene (TeCE) and para-dichlorobenzene (pDCB), vinyl chloride and carbon tetrachloride were the most abundant chlorinated hydrocarbons inside the stations with average levels of (3.6 ± 1.3), (1.3 ± 0.5), (4.1 ± 1.1), (2.2 ± 1.1) and (1.2 ± 0.3) μg/m3, respectively. Mean levels of major aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons were higher indoor (platforms and mezzanines) than outdoor with average indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios of 1.1-9.5, whereas no significant indoor/outdoor differences were found except for benzene and TrCE. The highly significant mutual correlations (p 0.01) for BTEX between indoor and outdoor and their significant correlation (p 0.05) with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a marker of traffic-related emission without other indoor and outdoor sources, indicated that BTEX were introduced into the subway stations from indoor/outdoor air exchange and traffic emission should be their dominant source. TrCE and pDCB were mainly from indoor emission and TeCE might have both indoor emission sources and contribution from outdoor air, especially in the mezzanines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether
  • Shanghai
  • Subway
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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