Epidemiological studies suggest that the main part of chronic effects from air pollution is likely to be linked with particulate matter (PM). Oxidative potential (OP) of PM is gaining strong interest as a promising health exposure metric. This study combined atmospheric detailed composition results obtained for seven different urban background environments over France to examine any possible common feature in OP seasonal variations obtained using two assays (acid ascorbic (AA) and dithiothreitol (DTT)) along a large set of samples ( N >
700 ). A remarkable homogeneity in annual cycles was observed with a higher OP activity in wintertime at all investigated sites. Univariate correlations were used to link the concentrations of some major chemical components of PM and their OP. Four PM components were identified as OP predictors: OC, EC, monosaccharides and Cu. These species are notably emitted by road transport and biomass burning, targeting main sources probably responsible for the measured OP activity. The results obtained confirm that the relationship between OP and atmospheric pollutants is assay- and location-dependent and, thus, the strong need for a standardized test, or set of tests, for further regulation purposes.
Document type: Article
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