Chemical speciation of fine particle bound trace metals

X. D. Feng, Z. Dang, W. L. Huang, C. Yang

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113 Scopus citations


This study reported quantifications of fine particle bound trace metals and their potential health risks for residents in Guangzhou, a rapidly developing and most populated city in South China. The fine particle samples were collected from October 29th- to November 8th- of 2006 at two different elevations in a mainly residential area and analyzed for the total concentration of aluminum, iron, zinc, lead, manganese, copper, arsenic, chromium, nickel, cadmium, molybdenum and cobalt. Results showed that the fine particle concentrations ranged from 95.8 μg/m3to 194.7 μg/m3 at the ground and 83.3-190.0 μg/m3 on the roof, which were much higher than the 24 h fine particle standard (35 μg/m3) recommended by USEPA. The total concentrations of zinc, lead, arsenic, chromium and cadmium in fine particle were 504.8, 201.6, 24.3, 7.7 and 4.4 μg/m3, respectively, which were comparable to other major cities of China, but much higher than major cities outside of China. A sequential extraction procedure was used to fractionate these fine particle bound metals into four different fractions. Results indicated that most toxic metals were mainly distributed in bioavailable fractions. For instance, about 91 % of cadmium, 85 % of lead and 74 % of arsenic were in bioavailable forms. Risk calculations with a simple exposure assessment model showed that the cancer risks of the bioavailable fractions of arsenic, chromium and cadmium were 3 to 33 times greater than usual goal, indicating serious health risks to the residents in this urban area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Bioavailability
  • Fine particle
  • Health risk assessment
  • Sequential extraction procedure
  • Trace element


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