A 10-year observation of PM2.5-bound nickel in Xi’an, China: Effects of source control on its trend and associated health risks
This study presents the first long term (10-year period, 2004-2013) datasets of PM2.5-bound nickel (Ni) concentration obtained from the daily sample in urban of Xi’an, Northwestern China. The Ni concentration trend, pollution sources, and the potential health risks associated to Ni were investigated. The Ni concentrations increased from 2004 to 2008, but then decreased due to coal consumption reduction, energy structure reconstruction, tighter emission rules and the improvement of the industrial and motor vehicle waste control techniques. With the comparison of distributions between workday and non-workday periods, the effectiveness of local and regional air pollution control policies and contributions of hypothetical Ni sources (industrial and automobile exhausts) were evaluated, demonstrating the health benefits to the populations during the ten years. Mean Ni cancer risk was higher than the threshold value of 10-6, suggesting that carcinogenic Ni still was a concern to the residents. Our findings conclude that there are still needs to establish more strict strategies and guidelines for atmospheric Ni in our living area, assisting to balance the relationship between economic growth and environmental conservation in China.