Trace elements in PM2.5in Shandong Province: Source identification and health risk assessment

Jingzhu Zhang, Xuehua Zhou, Zhe Wang, Lingxiao Yang, Jing Wang, Wenxing Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical compositions in PM 2.5 in metropolitan areas have obtained lots of attentions, of which concerns of airborne trace elements are relatively lacking. Here, PM 2.5 samples were collected simultaneously in one year at four urban sites (Zibo (ZB), Zaozhuang (ZZ), Qingdao (QD) and Jinan (JN (Shandong University)), and a rural site (JN (Miaopu)) in Shandong province. 25 elements (Al, Na, Cl, Mg, Si, S, K, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Sr, Cd, Ba and Pb) in PM 2.5 were measured by wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (WDXRF). Most trace elements (Al, Na, Cl, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, As, Se, Br, Cd, Ba and Pb) exhibited the highest levels at ZB and the lowest at QD. Meanwhile, they presented obvious seasonal variations with the highest concentrations in winter or spring and the lowest in summer. S and K were the most abundant elements in the area. In the non-crustal trace metal elements, Zn, Pb and Mn presented the highest concentrations. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) modeling revealed that secondary formation, coal combustion and industry emissions were the main sources in the region. The health risk assessments suggested that at the five sites Cd (diet) for adults, Pb and Co for children, and Mn (diet) for both adults and children (at ZB and SDU sites) had non-carcinogenic risks. As and Pb for adults and children existed carcinogenic risks, especially Pb for children. The sources of these elements with health risks were further explored. Notably, Cd, As and Pb should be paid special attention in the area due to their high concentrations in aerosol water exceeding the acceptable health risks, especially Pb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-577
Number of pages20
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018


  • Health risk
  • Source apportionment
  • Spatial and temporal variation
  • Trace metal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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