PAH contamination in road dust from a moderate city in North China: The significant role of traffic emission

To investigate the contamination level, distribution, possible source, and human exposure risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the urban traffic environment, 15 PAHs were measured in 34 road dust samples (particle size < 25 μm) collected from three grades of roads and park paths in Xinxiang, China. ΣPAHs concentrations ranged from 311 to 21200 ng g−1, with a mean of 5890 ng g−1 and decreased in the following order: main roads (7650 ng g−1) > collector streets (7410 ng g−1) > bypasses (2970 ng g−1) > park paths (1570 ng g−1), indicating that significant positive correlation existed between PAH contamination and traffic density. PAHs in all samples were dominantly composed of 4-ring PAHs, accounting for 44.8% of the total. Pyrene, fluoranthene, and chrysene were the predominant individual components and accounted for 14.7% (1.2–19.2%), 12.9% (3.3–20.3%), and 11.0% (2.5–18.6%) of ΣPAHs, respectively. The specific isomer ratios indicated that traffic emission was the dominant source of PAHs in road dust. The incremental lifetime cancer risk values showed that cancer risk from exposure to road dust–borne PAHs was acceptable for local residents in Xinxiang.