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Volume 17, No. 3, March 2017, Pages 666-679 PDF(1.84 MB)  
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.08.0349   

Relationships between Outdoor and Personal Exposure of Carbonaceous Species and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) at Hong Kong

Zhan-Lan Fan1, Xiao-Cui Chen1,7, Ka-Hei Lui1, Steven Sai-Hang Ho2,3, Jun-Ji Cao2,4, Shun-Cheng Lee5, Hong Huang6, Kin-Fai Ho1,2

1 The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
2 Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710075, China
3 Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA
4 Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710048, China
5 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
6 School of Resource, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330000, China
7 Institute of Environment, energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China


  • Ambient PM2.5 was the main factor influencing personal exposures.
  • Higher PM2.5 personal exposure was reported.
  • PAHs in personal PM2.5 were associated with traffic and indoor sources.



Personal and ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) samples were simultaneously collected at Hong Kong during winter in 2014. Mass concentration, organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) relationships were analyzed. The correlations of personal and ambient concentrations of PM2.5, OC, and EC indicated the ambient concentrations were the factors showing influences on the personal exposures. Personal to ambient (P/A) ratios in PM2.5, OC, and EC were all > 1, suggesting influences between indoor sources and/or personal activities. Significant higher ambient ΣPAHs concentrations with P/A ratios were nevertheless < 1. The Σ15 U.S. EPA priority PAHs accounted for 50.6% and 70.8% of ΣPAHs in personal and ambient samples, respectively. The ratios of indicator compounds confirmed the origin of PAHs in personal PM2.5, which were found to be associated predominantly with traffic emissions and the influence by the indoor sources.



Keywords: Personal exposure; Fine particulate matter; Carbonaceous aerosol; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.



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