Trends in black carbon and size-resolved particle number concentrations and vehicle emission factors under real-world conditions
Kerbside concentrations of NOx, black carbon (BC), total number of particles (diameter > 4 nm) and number size distribution (28–410 nm) were measured at a busy street canyon in Stockholm in 2006 and 2013. Over this period, there was an important change in the vehicle fleet due to a strong dieselisation process of light-duty vehicles and technological improvement of vehicle engines. This study assesses the impact of these changes on ambient concentrations and particle emission factors (EF). EF were calculated by using a novel approach which combines the NOx tracer method with positive matrix factorisation (PMF) applied to particle number size distributions. NOx concentrations remained rather constant between these two years, whereas a large decrease in particle concentrations was observed, being on average 60% for BC, 50% for total particle number, and 53% for particles in the range 28–100 nm. The PMF analysis yielded three factors that were identified as contributions from gasoline vehicles, diesel fleet, and urban background. This separation allowed the calculation of the average vehicle EF for each particle metric per fuel type. In general, gasoline EF were lower than diesel EF, and EF for 2013 were lower than the ones derived for 2006. The EFBC decreased 77% for both gasoline and diesel fleets, whereas the particle number EF reduction was higher for the gasoline (79%) than for the diesel (37%) fleet. Our EF are consistent with results from other on-road studies, which reinforces that the proposed methodology is suitable for EF determination and to assess the effectiveness of policies implemented to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions. However, our EF are much higher than EF simulated with traffic emission models (HBEFA and COPERT) that are based on dynamometer measurements, except for EFBC for diesel vehicles. This finding suggests that the EF from the two leading models in Europe should be revised for BC (gasoline vehicles) and particle number (all vehicles), since they are used to compile national inventories for the road transportation sector and also to assess their associated health effects. Using the calculated kerbside EF, we estimated that the traffic emissions were lower in 2013 compared to 2006 with a 61% reduction for BC (due to decreases in both gasoline and diesel emissions), and 34–45% for particle number (reduction only in gasoline emissions). Limitations of the application of these EF to other studies are also discussed.
Biotransformation of 8:2 polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diester in gilthead bream (Sparus aurata)
Polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs) are high production volume surfactants used in the food contact paper and packaging industry. PAPs may transform to persistent perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) under biotic conditions, but little is known about their fate and behavior in aquatic organisms. Here we report for the first time on the uptake, tissue distribution, and biotransformation of 8:2 polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diester (8:2 diPAP) in fish. Gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata) were dosed via the diet (8:2 diPAP at 29μg/ g) for 7days, during which time 8:2 diPAP and its transformation products were monitored in plasma, liver, muscle, gills, bile and brain. 8:2 diPAP tended to accumulate in liver, plasma and gills, and to a lesser extent in muscle, bile and brain. Several transformation products (observed previously in other organisms) were also observed in most tissues and biofluids, including both saturated and unsaturated fluorotelomer acids (8:2 FTCA, 8:2 FTUCA, 7:3 FTCA), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). 8:2 FTCA was the major metabolite in all tissues/biofluids, except for bile, where PFOA occurred at the highest concentrations. Unexpectedly high PFOA levels (up to 3.7ng/g) were also detected in brain. Phase II metabolites, which have been reported in fish following exposure to fluorotelomer alcohols, were not observed in these experiments, probably due to their low abundance. Nevertheless, the detection of PFOA indicates that exposure to PAPs may be an indirect route of exposure to PFCAs in fish.
Health Impact of PM10, PM2.5 and Black Carbon Exposure Due to Different Source Sectors in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Umea, Sweden.
The most important anthropogenic sources of primary particulate matter (PM) in ambient air in Europe are exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from road traffic and combustion of solid biomass. There is convincing evidence that PM, almost regardless of source, has detrimental health effects. An important issue in health impact assessments is what metric, indicator and exposure-response function to use for different types of PM. The aim of this study is to describe sectorial contributions to PM exposure and related premature mortality for three Swedish cities: Gothenburg, Stockholm and Umea. Exposure is calculated with high spatial resolution using atmospheric dispersion models. Attributed premature mortality is calculated separately for the main local sources and the contribution from long-range transport (LRT), applying different relative risks. In general, the main part of the exposure is due to LRT, while for black carbon, the local sources are equally or more important. The major part of the premature deaths is in our assessment related to local emissions, with road traffic and residential wood combustion having the largest impact. This emphasizes the importance to resolve within-city concentration gradients when assessing exposure. It also implies that control actions on local PM emissions have a strong potential in abatement strategies.
Making the most of expert judgment in hazard and risk assessment of chemicals
Evaluation of the reliability and relevance of toxicity and ecotoxicity studies is an integral step in the assessment of the hazards and risks of chemicals. This evaluation is inherently reliant on expert judgment, which often leads to differences between experts’ conclusions regarding how individual studies can contribute
to the body of evidence. The conclusions of regulatory assessment, such as establishing safe exposure levels for humans and the environment and calculations of margins of exposure, may have large consequences for which chemicals are permitted on the market and their allowed uses. It is therefore important that such assessments are based on all reliable and relevant scientific data, and that assessment principles and assumptions, such as expert judgment, are transparently applied. It is not possible nor desirable to completely eliminate expert judgment from the evaluation of (eco)toxicity studies. However, it is desirable to introduce measures that increase structure and transparency in the evaluation process so as to provide scientifically robust risk assessments that can be used for regulatory decision making. In this article we present results from workshop exercises with Nordic experts to illustrate how experts’ evaluations regarding the reliability and relevance of (eco)toxicity studies for risk assessment may vary and discuss methods intended to promote structure and transparency in the evaluation process.
Revising the hygroscopicity of inorganic sea salt particles
Sea spray is one of the largest natural aerosol sources and plays an important role in the Earth’s radiative budget. These particles are inherently hygroscopic, that is, they take-up moisture from the air, which affects the extent to which they interact with solar radiation. We demonstrate that the hygroscopic growth of inorganic sea salt is 8–15% lower than pure sodium chloride, most likely due to the presence of hydrates. We observe an increase in hygroscopic growth with decreasing particle size (for particle diameters <150 nm) that is independent of the particle generation method. We vary the hygroscopic growth of the inorganic sea salt within a general circulation model and show that a reduced hygroscopicity leads to a reduction in aerosol-radiation interactions, manifested by a latitudinal-dependent reduction of the aerosol optical depth by up to 15%, while cloud-related parameters are unaffected. We propose that a value of κs=1.1 (at RH=90%) is used to represent the hygroscopicity of inorganic sea salt particles in numerical models.
Cancer Risk Assessment of Airborne PAHs Based on in Vitro Mixture Potency Factors
Complex mixtures of polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common environmental pollutants
associated with adverse human health effects including cancer.
However, the risk of exposure to mixtures is difficult to
estimate, and risk assessment by whole mixture potency
evaluations has been suggested. To facilitate this, reliable in
vitro based testing systems are necessary. Here, we investigated
if activation of DNA damage signaling in vitro could be an
endpoint for developing whole mixture potency factors
(MPFs) for airborne PAHs. Activation of DNA damage
signaling was assessed by phosphorylation of Chk1 and H2AX
using Western blotting. To validate the in vitro approach,
potency factors were determined for seven individual PAHs
which were in very good agreement with established potency factors based on cancer data in vivo. Applying the method using
Stockholm air PAH samples indicated MPFs with orders of magnitude higher carcinogenic potency than predicted by established
in vivo-based potency factors. Applying the MPFs in cancer risk assessment suggested that 45.4 (6% of all) lung cancer cases per year
in Stockholm are due to airborne PAHs. Applying established models resulted in <1 cancer case per year, which is far from expected levels. We conclude that our in vitro based approach for establishing MPFs could be a novel method to assess whole mixture samples of airborne PAHs to improve health risk assessment.