Impact of Dust Transported from China on Air Quality in Korea -Characteristics of PM2.5 Concentrations and Metallic Elements in Asan and Seoul, Korea

  • Published : 2007.12.31


[ $PM_{2.5}$ ], particulate matter less than 2.5 um in a diameter, can penetrate deeply into the lungs. Exposure to $PM_{2.5}$ has been associated with increased hospital visits for respiratory aliments as well as increase mortality. $PM_{2.5}$ is a byproduct of combustion processes and as such has a complex composition including a variety of metallic elements, inorganic and organic compounds as well as biogenic materials (microorganisms, proteins, etc). In this study, the average concentrations of fine particulates $PM_{2.5}$ have been measured simultaneously in Asan and Seoul, Korea, by using particulate matter portable sampler from September 2001 to August 2002. Sample collection filters were analyzed by ICP-OES to determine the concentrations of metallic elements (As, Ni, Fe, Cr, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Si). Annual mean $PM_{2.5}$ concentrations in Asan and Seoul were 37.70 and $45.83\;{\mu}g/m^3$, respectively. The highest concentrations of $PM_{2.5}$ were found in spring season in both cities and the concentrations of measured metallic elements except As in Asan were higher than those in Seoul, suggesting that yellow dust in spring could affect $PM_{2.5}$ concentrations in Asan rather than Seoul. The correlation coefficients of Pb and Zn were 0.343 for Asan and 0.813 for Seoul during non-yellow dust condition, suggesting that Pb and Zn were influenced with the same sources. The correlation coefficients between Si and Fe in the fine particulate mode were 0.999 (Asan) and 0.998 (Seoul) during yellow dust condition. It was suggested that these two elements were impacted by soil-related transport from China during the yellow dust storm condition.


fine particulate;yellow dust;metallic elements


  1. Christoforou, C.S., Salmon, L.G., Hannigan, M.P., Solomon, P.A. and Cass, G.R. : Trends in fine particle concentration and chemical composition in Southern California. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 50, 43-53, 2000
  2. Clayton, C.A., Pellizzari, E.D., Rodes, C.E., Mason, R.E. and Pipe, L.L. : Estimating distribution of long-term particulate matter and manganese exposure for residents of Toronto Canada. Atmospheric Environment, 33, 2515-2526, 1999
  3. Chan, L.Y. and Kwok, W.S. : Roadside suspended particulate at heavily trafficked urban site of Hong Kong: Seasonal variation and dependence on meteorological condition. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 3177-3182, 2001
  4. Dockery, D.W., Pope, C.A., Xu, X., Spergler, J.D., Ware, J.H., Fay, M.E., Fervis, B.G. and Speizer, F.E. : An association between air pollution and Mortality in six US cities. The New England Journal of Medicine, 329, 1753-1759, 1993
  5. Meszaros, E., Barcza, T., Krivacy, Z., Molnav, A., Polyak, K., Gelencser, A. and Hlavary, J. : Size distributions of inorganic and organic species in the atmospheric aerosol in Hungary. Journal of Aerosol Science, 28, 1163-1175, 1997
  6. Englert, N. : Fine particles and human health a review of epidemiological studies. Toxicology Letters, 149, 235-242, 2004
  7. Rodriguez, S., Querol, X., Alastuey, A., Vianna, M. M. and Mantilla, E. : Events affecting levels and seasonal evolution of airborne particulate matter concentrations in Western Mediterranean. Environmental Science & Technology, 37(2), 4969-4975, 2003
  8. Saskia, C., Harrssema, H., Van Der Zee, Hoek, G. and Brunekveef, B. : Characterization of particulate air pollutants in urban and non-urban area in the Netherlands. Atmospheric Environment, 32, 3717-3729, 1998
  9. Sergio, R., Xavier Q., Andress, A., Maria-M. V., Marta, A. and Envique, M. : Comparative PM10-PM2.5 source contribution study at rural, urban and industrial sites during PM episodes in Eastern Spain. Science of the Total Environment, 328, 95-113, 2004
  10. Hiroshi, N., Masanori, I., Manabu, S., Sadanori, K. and Masaji, O. : A new approach based on a covariance structure model to source apportionment of indoor fine particles in Tokyo. Atmospheric Environment, 28(4), 631-636, 1994
  11. Kang, G.U., Kim, N.S. and Rhim, K.H. : Seasonal size distribution of atmospheric particles in Iksan, Korea. Korean Journal of Environmental Health, 32(6), 543-555, 2006
  12. Querol, X., Alastueg, A., Rodriguez, S., Plana, F. and Ruiz, C.R. : Monitoring of $PM_{10}$ and $PM_{2.5}$ ambient air levels around primary anthropogenic emissions. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 848-858, 2001
  13. Yu, J.S., Kim, D.S. and Kim, Y.S. : Quantitative Source Estimation of PM-10 in Seoul area. Journal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment, 11(3), 279-290, 1995
  14. Lee, J.T., Kim, H., Hong, Y., Kwon, H., Schwartz, J. and Christiani, D.C. : Air pollution and daily mortality in seven major cities of Korea, 1991-1997. Environmental Research Section A, 84, 247-254, 2000
  15. Mizohata, A. and Mamuro, T. : Balance and identification of air pollution sources in Sakai Osaka. Journal of Japan Society Air Pollution, 15, 198-206, 1980
  16. Chan, Y.C., Simpson, R.W., Motainsh, G.H. and Vowles, P.D. : Characterization of chemical species in $PM_{2.5}$ and $PM_{10}$ aerosols in Brisbane, Australia. Atmospheric Environment, 31, 3773-3785, 1997
  17. Ferguson, J.E. and Nicholas, D.K. : Trace elements in street and house dust: Source and speciation. The Science of the Total Environment, 100, 125-150, 1991
  18. Park, Y.H. and Shin, D.Y : Characteristics of nanoparticles exhausted from diesel passenger vehicle with DPF. Korean Journal of Environmental Health, 32(6), 533-538, 2006
  19. Raes, F., Dingenen, R.V., Vignati, E., Wilson, J., Putaud, J.P., Seinfeld, J.H. and Adams, P. : Formation and cycling of aerosol in the global troposthere. Atmospheric Environment, 34, 4215-4240, 2000
  20. Husar, R.B., Tralf, D.M., Schichtel, B.A. and Malm, W.C. : The Asian dust events of April 1998. Journal of Geophysical Research, 106, 18067-18074, 2001
  21. Shareef, G.S. and Bravo, L.A. : Air emissions species manual Vol.2 particulate matter species profiles, EPA-450, 1988
  22. Bodhaine, B.A. : Aerosol absorption measurement at Barrow, Mauma Loa and the South pole. Journal of Geophysical Research, 100, 8967-8975, 1995
  23. Duce, R.E., Vnni, C.K., Ray, B.J., Prospero, J.M. and Merrill, J.T. : Long-Range atmospheric transport of soil dust from Asia to the tropical North pacific temporal variability. Science, 209, 1522-1524, 1980
  24. Anneegarm, H.J., Braga Marcazzan, G.M., Cereda, E., Marchionni, M. and Zucchiatti, A. : A source profiles by SPUR: determination of source profiles from receptor site streaker samples. Atmospheric Environment, 26(2), 333-343, 1992
  25. Iwasaka, V., Minouru, U. and Nagaya, K. : The transport and spatial scale of Asian dust-storm clouds: a case study of the dust-storm event of April. Tellus, 38, 189-196, 1983
  26. Yeo, H.G. and Kim, J.H. : SPM and fungal spores in the ambient air of west Korea during the Asian dust (Yellow sand) period. Atmospheric Environment, 36, 5437-5442, 2002