Complex polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures including parent PAHs, high molecular weight PAHs (MW 302 PAHs), and halogenated PAHs (HPAHs) were measured in particulate matter (PM) in an urban area and a rural electronic waste area in South China. The concentrations of MW < 302 PAHs at two sites were not significantly different with annual means of 23.2 ± 17.2 and 33.7 ± 29.0 ng/m3, respectively. However the concentrations of both MW 302 PAHs (5.35 ± 3.72 ng/m3) and HPAH (49.9 pg/m3) were significantly higher at the e-waste site than the urban site (2.81 ± 2.36 ng/m3 and 28.2 ± 28.5 pg/m3), suggesting e-waste recycling being a significant source of these PAHs. The majority of PAHs exhibited higher concentrations in winter and spring and lower concentrations in fall and summer. Meteorological conditions and increased emissions of PAHs in northern China due to domestic heating in colder seasons are important factors influencing the PAH seasonal variations. Source apportionment by the chemical mass balance (CMB) model indicated that residential stoves (coal combustion), industrial boilers (coal combustion), biomass burning, and vehicular emission accounted for 38 ± 14%, 30 ± 11%, 22 ± 22%, and 10 ± 7% of the PAHs in the urban PM, respectively. Comparable contributions from these sources were also observed for PM at the e-waste site. PAH emission factors are needed for primitive e-waste recycling to further understand the importance of this source to ambient air.
Keywords: E-waste; Particulate matter; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; Source apportionment; Urban.
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