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Chemosphere

Characteristics of organic matter in PM2.5 from an e-waste dismantling area in Taizhou, China.


PMID 20510434

Abstract

Solvent extractable organic compounds in PM(2.5) samples collected in Taizhou, a city famous for its electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling industry in Zhejiang province of China, were analyzed to identify the main emission sources based on molecular markers. Two types of plastics which were most frequently contained in the e-wastes, wires/cables and plastic blocks, were burned in the lab and the particles emitted analyzed. The concentrations of PAHs and phthalate esters at the e-waste dismantling area during our sampling periods were about two times of that at the reference urban site, indicating the high pollution level there. The high concentrations of quaterphenyl found at the dismantling area indicated that burning of plastics or polymers was an important emission source of the PAHs in the fine particles. The diagnostic analysis based on the compositions of alkanes, hopanes and other molecular markers showed that engine exhaust, biomass burning and kitchen emissions were also important emission sources at the e-waste dismantling area. Our results suggested that more effort should be paid to control the correlative emission sources such as transportation and kitchen to achieve better air quality at the e-waste dismantling area besides regulating the recycling activities.

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