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Size-Resolved Endotoxin and Oxidative Potential of Ambient Particles in Beijing and Zürich

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posted on 22.05.2018 by Yang Yue, Haoxuan Chen, Ari Setyan, Miriam Elser, Maria Dietrich, Jing Li, Ting Zhang, Xiangyu Zhang, Yunhao Zheng, Jing Wang, Maosheng Yao
PM2.5 pollution has become a global health concern, however its size-resolved health impact remains to be poorly elucidated. Here, ambient particulate matter (PM) were collected into 13 different size ranges (10 nm to 18 μm) and the mass, metal, endotoxin distributions, and related oxidative potential were investigated in two regions (Zürich, Switzerland and Beijing, China). Results showed that the two regions had remarkably different PM distribution patterns. Swiss urban samples had a mode around 40 nm with 23.3% of total PM mass, while Chinese samples featured two modes around 0.75 and 4.23 μm with 13.8–18.6% and 13.7–20.4% of total PM mass, respectively. Two peaks for endotoxin at 40–100 nm and 1–4 μm were observed in different regions. For PM-borne metals, Chinese samples had 67.6–100% of total Cd, As, and Pb in the size range of 0.1–1 μm, and Swiss samples had similar distributions of Cd and Pb but much lower total metals than Chinese samples. The PM oxidative potential varied greatly with sizes for different regions. Accordingly, the current practice, i.e., sole use of the mass concentration, could lead to inadequate health protection for one region, but unnecessary economic costs for another without achieving significant extra health benefits.