Nanjing has areas with different degrees of pollution and is therefore predestined for the analysis of particle phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (P-PAHs) in different functional areas and their correlation with the latter. The functional sites include a background area (BGA), an industrial area (IDA), a traffic area (TFA), a business area (BNA) and a residential area (RDA), where parameters such as PAH composition, content, carcinogenic and mutagenic potencies were analyzed. The results revealed increasing P-PAH contents (PM2.5, PM10) in the following order: BGA (14.02 ng m–3, 38.45 ng m–3) < BNA (16.33 ng m–3, 44.13 ng m–3) < TFA (17.13 ng m–3, 48.31 ng m–3) < RDA (21.11 ng m–3, 61.03 ng m–3) < IDA (50.00 ng m–3, 93.08 ng m–3). Thereby, the P-PAH content in the industrial area was significantly higher than in the other functional zones (P < 0.01). Furthermore, the gas phase PAH concentrations were also estimated by the G/P partitioning model and the total PAH toxicity was assessed applying toxicity equivalent factors (∑BaPTEF) and mutagenicity equivalent factors (∑BaPMEF). Finally, the incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) value of children and adolescents in Nanjing was higher than that of adults.