Elemental characterization and source apportionment of PM10 and PM2.5 in the western coastal area of central Taiwan

Chin Yu Hsu, Hung Che Chiang, Sheng Lun Lin, Mu Jean Chen, Tzu Yu Lin, Yu Cheng Chen

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222 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated seasonal variations in PM10 and PM2.5 mass and associated trace metal concentrations in a residential area in proximity to the crude oil refinery plants and industrial parks of central Taiwan. Particle measurements were conducted during winter, spring and summer in 2013 and 2014. Twenty-six trace metals in PM10 and PM2.5 were analyzed using ICP-MS. Multiple approaches of the backward trajectory model, enrichment factor (EF), Lanthanum enrichment and positive matrix fraction (PMF) were used to identify potential sources of particulate metals. Mean concentrations of PM10 in winter, spring and summer were 76.4±22.6, 33.2±9.9 and 37.4±17.0μgm-3, respectively, while mean levels of PM2.5 in winter, spring and summer were 47.8±20.0, 23.9±11.2 and 16.3±8.2μgm-3, respectively. The concentrations of carcinogenic metals (Ni, As and adjusted Cr(VI)) in PM10 and PM2.5 exceeded the guideline limits published by WHO. The result of EF analysis confirmed that Mo, Sb, Cd, Zn, Mg, Cr, As, Pb, Cu, Ni and V were attributable to anthropogenic emission. PMF analysis demonstrated that trace metals in PM10 and PM2.5 were from the similar sources, such as coal combustion, oil combustion and traffic-related emission, except for soil dust and crustal element emissions only observed in PM10 and secondary aluminum smelter only observed in PM2.5. Considering health-related particulate metals, the traffic-related emission and coal combustion for PM10 and PM2.5, respectively, are important to control for reducing potential carcinogenic risk. The results could aid efforts to clarify the impact of source-specific origins on human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1150
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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