Environmental impact and health risk assessment of volatile organic compound emissions during different seasons in Beijing

Li Tan , Chuanqi Li , Qianqian Li , Dongge Tong , Qingliang Wang , Mingge Wu , Bohua Sun , Guijin Su


Received July 10, 2019,Revised , Accepted November 07, 2019, Available online December 09, 2019

Volume 32,2020,Pages 1-12

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major contributors to air pollution. Based on the emission characteristics of 99 VOCs that daily measured at 10 am in winter from 15 December 2015 to 17 January 2016 and in summer from 21 July to 25 August 2016 in Beijing, the environmental impact and health risk of VOC were assessed. In the winter polluted days, the secondary organic aerosol formation potential (SOAP) of VOC (199.70 ± 15.05 μg/m3) was significantly higher than that on other days. And aromatics were the primary contributor (98.03%) to the SOAP during the observation period. Additionally, the result of the ozone formation potential (OFP) showed that ethylene contributed the most to OFP in winter (26.00% and 27.64% on the normal and polluted days). In summer, however, acetaldehyde was the primary contributor to OFP (22.00% and 21.61% on the normal and polluted days). Simultaneously, study showed that hazard ratios and lifetime cancer risk values of acrolein, chloroform, benzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, acetaldehyde and 1,3-butadiene exceeded the thresholds established by USEPA, thereby presenting a health risk to the residents. Besides, the ratio of toluene-to-benzene indicated that vehicle exhausts were the main source of VOC pollution in Beijing. The ratio of m-/p-xylene-to-ethylbenzene demonstrated that there were more prominent atmospheric photochemical reactions in summer than that in winter. Finally, according to the potential source contribution function (PSCF) results, compared with local pollution sources, the spread of pollution from long-distance VOCs had a greater impact on Beijing.

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