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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-10
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-10
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  23 Mar 2020

23 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

A semi-continuous study on the toxicity of atmospheric particles using a versatile aerosol concentration enrichment system (VACES): development and field characterization

Xiaona Shang1, Ling Li1,2, Xinlian Zhang1, Huihui Kang1, Guodong Sui1, Gehui Wang2, Xingnan Ye1, Hang Xiao3, and Jianmin Chen1,2,3 Xiaona Shang et al.
  • 1Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP3), Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China
  • 2Institute of Eco-Chongming, 3663 N. Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai 200062, China
  • 3Institute of Eco-Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China

Abstract. The toxicity of atmospheric particles directly associates to health effects, but its online monitoring has not yet been implemented due to low-concentration toxic components and high measurement detection limit. To solve the detection problem, we extended a versatile aerosol concentration enrichment system (VACES) for toxicity aerosol measurement and firstly used VACES to provide a comparison of toxicity between non-concentrated and concentrated aerosols in ambient air. Through optimizing the technical parameters, the total concentration (number or mass), the concentration of chemical components, and the toxicity were all increased by approximately 7 to 10 times in VACES. In particular, ambient aerosols with toxicity below the detection limit, were detected significantly after concentration. Moreover, comparable enrichment factors and similar trends before and after enrichment in toxicity were observed over time, suggesting that the toxic properties of ambient aerosols do not change in VACES. Whereas, changes in PM2.5 concentrations and their toxicity do not always correlate well, which was probably driven by the combined toxicity effect of chemical components. Thereby, it hints a necessity to further study on the toxicity effects of chemical compositions. All above also imply that VACES could provide technical support for the future measurement of online atmospheric particulate toxicity, which is currently performed at high-concentration environment, long sampling duration, and offline.

Xiaona Shang et al.

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Xiaona Shang et al.

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Short summary
Particulate toxicity is health-related, but it is not currently detectable online. Thus, we extended an aerosol concentrator to toxicity assay and verified its characteristics. The semi-continuous results showed the feasibility of the system in future online toxicity study. We also found that the particle mass did not fully reflect the change in toxicity, likely due to the combination effects of compositions, which indicates the necessity to further study the toxicity of specific components.
Particulate toxicity is health-related, but it is not currently detectable online. Thus, we...
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