Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban surface dust of Guangzhou, China: Status, sources and human health risk assessment

Sci Total Environ. 2011 Oct 1;409(21):4519-27. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.07.030.


Ninety-six urban surface dust samples collected from Guangzhou, a typical urban center in South China, were analyzed for 16 PAHs (2-6 rings). ∑PAHs concentrations in the urban surface dust ranged from 0.84 to 12.3μg/g with a mean of 4.80μg/g. High molecular weight compounds (4-6 rings) contributed to 62 to 94% of ∑PAHs mass in the surface dust samples. Four hotspots with highest ∑PAHs were identified via kriging prediction mapping, representing the highly-urbanized regions: central downtown, highway and industrial area. Two major origins of PAHs inputs to urban surface dust were identified as vehicle emissions (51.9%) and coal combustion (26.8%). The 95% UCL of Incremental Lifetime Cancer Risk (ILCR) due to human exposure to urban surface dust PAHs in central South China was 3.03×10(-6) for children and 2.92×10(-6) for adults.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Child
  • China
  • Cities
  • Coal / analysis
  • Dust / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Models, Statistical
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Vehicle Emissions / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants
  • Coal
  • Dust
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Vehicle Emissions