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    Chemosphere 227 (2019) 53e62

    Contents lists avai


    journal homepage: www.elsevier .com/locate/chemosphere

    Personal exposure to PM2.5-bound organic species from domestic solid fuel combustion in rural Guanzhong Basin, China: Characteristics and health implication

    Yaqi Li a, Hongmei Xu a, c, d, *, Jinhui Wang b, Steven Sai Hang Ho e, Kailai He a, Zhenxing Shen a, Zhi Ning f, Jian Sun a, Lijuan Li c, Ronghui Lei d, Tian Zhang a, Yali Lei a, Liu Yang a, Yongxiao Cao d, Junji Cao c

    a Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China b NICU, Xi'an Children's Hospital, Xi'an, China c Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry & Physics, SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China d Health Science Center, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China e Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV, United States f Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

    h i g h l i g h t s

    * Corresponding author. Department of Environmen E-mail address: (H. Xu). 0045-6535/© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    g r a p h i c a l a b s t r a c t

    � Domestic solid fuels emit toxic particulate-bound organics in rural northern China.

    � Personal exposures to PAHs, OPAHs, PAEs were ~1.5 times of indoors and outdoors.

    � PM2.5 from coal chuck stove had the maximum decline in cell viability.

    � Use of electricity reduced personal exposure levels to organics by 1.2e10 times.

    a r t i c l e i n f o

    Article history: Received 21 November 2018 Received in revised form 31 March 2019 Accepted 2 April 2019 Available online 5 April 2019

    Handling Editor: R Ebinghaus

    Keywords: Personal exposure PM2.5 Organic species Solid fuel combustion Cell viability

    a b s t r a c t

    Domestic solid fuels combustion produces a mass of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). PM2.5-bound or- ganics, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxygenated-PAHs (OPAHs), phthalate esters (PAEs) and hopanes, were quantified in indoor, outdoor and personal exposure samples collected in rural Guanzhong Basin, China. The average concentration of total quantified PAHs in personal exposure samples was 310± 443 ngm�3, 1.5 times of those of indoor (211± 120 ngm�3) and outdoor (189± 115 ngm�3). Similar observations were found for the OPAHs and PAEs, i.e., much higher con- centrations were seen in personal exposure samples. Hopanes average personal exposure concentration (13± 9.7 ngm�3) was comparable to indoors (15± 9.7 ngm�3) and outdoors (13± 9.6 ngm�3). Among four common heating ways applied in Chinese dwelling, the highest exposure levels to PAHs, OPAHs and PAEs were found for indoor coal chunks stoves. Concentration under electric power was 1.2e4.5 folds lower than those with solid fuels in this study, proved to be the cleanest energy for the household heating. The exposures to PM2.5 on cell viabilities were also investigated. The largest reduction of 70% on cell viabilities was seen for indoor coal chunks stove housewives, indicating that the emissions from coal combustion had the greatest cytotoxic effects. The results evidenced that the heating ways in rural area

    tal Science and Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, No. 28 Xianning West Road, Beilin Zone, Xi'an, 710049, China.

  • Y. Li et al. / Chemosphere 227 (2019) 53e6254

    could greatly impact on the housewife health in northwestern China. Advanced heating technology and protection should be conducted to reduce the personal exposures to PM2.5 from domestic solid fuel combustions.

    © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    1. Introduction

    Solid fuels are themost traditional sources for household energy supply in rural areas of northwestern China (Du et al., 2018a). The fuels are burnt in simple stoves with poor combustion efficiencies, and without any proper filtration system nor emission controls, leading to produce large amounts of toxic PM2.5 indoors (Shen et al., 2010a). Therefore, the air quality is greatly influenced by the combustions of biomass and other solid fuels through daily activ- ities, especially in winter (Tian et al., 2017; Sun et al., 2018). Exposure to solid fuel combustion emissions is associated with the development of asthma, tuberculosis, cataracts, low birth weight and lung diseases (Rehfuess et al., 2011).

    Organic carbon (OC) accounts for a significant fraction in at- mospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5) which contains alkanes, alkenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxygenated- PAHs (OPAHs), phthalate esters (PAEs) and so on (Choi et al., 2012; Srogi, 2007; Wang et al., 2016b). In between, aromatics (i.e., PAHs and OPAHs) have been attracting widespread public concern due to their adverse health impacts (Yu et al., 2015). OPAHs consists of hydroxyl or carbonyl fractional groups in chemical structure which can be emitted from the incomplete combustions of fossil fuels and biomass burning or formed through atmospheric pro- cesses (Huang et al., 2014; Wei et al., 2015). These oxidized de- rivatives are frequently found at similar levels as their parent PAHs (pPAHs) in environments (Walgraeve et al., 2010).

    PAEs are abundant species in atmosphere (Myridakis et al., 2015). They exist in widespread consumer products (i.e., plastics) and can be easily released in the air from the matrix through evaporation and combustion due to their weak chemical-bonding to the polymer (Czernych et al., 2017). PAEs total demand was about 1.36� 106 tons in 2010 in China (Zhang et al., 2015). Their carcinogenic potentials and endocrine disrupting properties alert the publics (Swan et al., 2005). Exposures to high levels of di-n- butyl phthalate (DBP) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) have significant effects on fetus by decreasing testicular testos- terone production, and harm to hepatic (Huang et al., 2010). These two PAEs have also been classified as probable human carcinogen (Group B2) by United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) and suspected carcinogen (Group 1B) by European Union (EU) (Pan et al., 2006). Although plastic products were not burned often in households, intentional or incidental burning of disposable tableware, plastic packing material or plastic bag can generate black smoke, decomposition and volatilization products, which strongly contributes to the level of PAEs in rural households and impacts on the health of housewives (Simoneit et al., 2005).

    Hopanes, a group of cyclic hydrocarbons, are bio-markers for petroleum and coal combustion emissions (Choi et al., 2012; Han et al., 2015; Oros and Simoneit, 2000; Schauer et al., 1996). As we known, hopane ratios can be used to indicate the gasoline emission (Wang et al., 2009). Meanwhile, Oros and Simoneit (2000) and Zhang et al. (2008) found that the ratio of 17a(H)-21b(H)-(22S)- homohopane (ab-S-HH)/[(17a(H)-21b(H)-(22S)-homohopane (ab- S-HH)þ 17a(H)-21b(H)-(22R)-homohopane (ab-R-HH)] also can be used to investigate the coal combustions with the values between 0.05 and 0.35 (i.e., lignite: 0.05; brown coal: 0.09; sub-bituminous

    coal: 0.20; bituminous coal: 0.35). Huang et al. (2006) reported that hopanes are mainly from vehicle exhaust in southern cities (e.g., Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong) in China due to increase in the number of automobiles (Wang et al., 2009), whereas coal burning contributed more to hopane levels in northern Chinese cities such as Beijing, especially in winter (Wang et al., 2006a).

    Organic species in PM2.5 are capable of cellular oxidative stresses by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Li et al., 2010). ROS can induce inflammatory reactions in human cells, which are evidently related with several PAHs and other organic toxins (Benbrahim-Tallaa et al., 2012). Liu et al. (2018) reported that short- term elevations in PM2.5 concentration may cause ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Niu et al. (2017) proved that or- ganics associated with PM2.5 could lead to a concentration- dependent decline in cell viability. Even though the PM2.5-bound organic compounds have been widely quantified in Chinese megacities, such as Xi'an, Nanjing, and Guangzhou (Li et al., 2005; Wang and Kawamura, 2005; Wang et al., 2016c; Xu et al., 2013; Yang et al., 2005), there is still no comprehensive assessment on their characteristics and cell viability effects in rural regions of Chinawhere air pollution is particularly high in the wintertime (Du et al., 2018b).

    The Guanzhong Basin is located in Shaanxi Province with the population of 38 million in 2016, of which the rural population accounted for 45% (Shaanxi Statistical Yearbook, 2017). The atmo- spheric dispersion in Guanzhong Basin is usually weak due to the unique features of its topography (Sun et al., 2017), resulting in its heavily polluted from PM2.5 (Cao et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2006a, 2006b). Guanzhong urban agglomeration is a key area of the “Three Districts and Ten Groups for Air Pollution Prevention” of the State Council, and is also part of “the Fenhe and Weihe Plain”, a key pollution control area for the “three-year plan on defending the blue sky” deployed in China in 2018. Coal and biomass are used as the main solid f


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