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Characteristics, Accumulation, and Potential Health Risks of Antimony in Atmospheric Particulate Matter

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2021, 23:52 by Jiali Jiang, Yunjie Wu, Guangyi Sun, Leiming Zhang, Zhonggen Li, Jonas Sommar, Heng Yao, Xinbin Feng
Antimony (Sb), a priority pollutant listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), can cause adverse effects on human health, with particular impacts on skin, eyes, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory system. In this study, a database of Sb concentrations in the global atmosphere was developed through a survey of measurements published in more than 600 articles, which was then used to assess the health risks of Sb exposure based on a USEPA assessment model. Most measurements showed Sb concentrations of less than ∼10 ng m–3, but those at several contaminated sites exhibited Sb concentrations of more than 100 ng m–3. For measurements conducted in urban environments, Sb concentrations in the total suspended particles (TSP) and particles of less than 10 (PM10) or 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were the highest in Asia, followed by Europe, South America, and North America. Sb concentrations were generally higher in winter and fall than during other seasons in TSP and PM10 samples. A significant correlation was observed between Sb and As in TSP and PM2.5 on a global scale. Sb was mainly derived from anthropogenic sources, especially traffic emission, industrial emission, and fossil combustion. Hazard quotients (HQ) of Sb in TSP, PM10, and PM2.5 were higher for children than adults because of their lighter body weight, inferior physical resistance, and higher ingestion probability. The global database for atmospheric Sb concentrations demonstrates a relatively low noncarcinogenic risk in most regions. Long-term monitoring is still required to identify the sources and growth potentials of Sb so that effective control policies can be established.