Differential toxicities of fine particulate matters from various sources

Minhan Park, Hung Soo Joo, Kwangyul Lee, Myoseon Jang, Sang Don Kim, Injeong Kim, Lucille Joanna S. Borlaza, Heungbin Lim, Hanjae Shin, Kyu Hyuck Chung, Yoon Hyeong Choi, Sun Gu Park, Min Suk Bae, Jiyi Lee, Hangyul Song, Kihong Park

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240 Scopus citations


Fine particulate matters less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) in the ambient atmosphere are strongly associated with adverse health effects. However, it is unlikely that all fine particles are equally toxic in view of their different sizes and chemical components. Toxicity of fine particles produced from various combustion sources (diesel engine, gasoline engine, biomass burning (rice straw and pine stem burning), and coal combustion) and non-combustion sources (road dust including sea spray aerosols, ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, and secondary organic aerosols (SOA)), which are known major sources of PM2.5, was determined. Multiple biological and chemical endpoints were integrated for various source-specific aerosols to derive toxicity scores for particles originating from different sources. The highest toxicity score was obtained for diesel engine exhaust particles, followed by gasoline engine exhaust particles, biomass burning particles, coal combustion particles, and road dust, suggesting that traffic plays the most critical role in enhancing the toxic effects of fine particles. The toxicity ranking of fine particles produced from various sources can be used to better understand the adverse health effects caused by different fine particle types in the ambient atmosphere, and to provide practical management of fine particles beyond what can be achieved only using PM mass which is the current regulation standard.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17007
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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