Optical properties, chemical composition and the toxicological potential of urban particulate matter

M. Pintér, Noémi Utry, Tibor Ajtai, Gergely Kiss-Albert, Beatrix Jancsek-Turóczi, Kornélia Imre, Andrea Palágyi, László Manczinger, Csaba Vágvölgyi, Eszter Horváth, Nóra Kováts, András Gelencsér, Gábor Szabó, Zoltán Bozóki

Research output: Article

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the diurnal variation and the interdependences between the physical, chemical and toxicological characteristics of atmospheric carbonaceous particulate matter (CPM) and co-emitted gaseous components. Measurements were carried out at two different urban sites during a 2-month period. On-line measured parameters were optical absorption coefficients (OAC), total number concentration (TNC), mass concentration of CPM and the concentration of gaseous species (CO, NOx and BTEX). Off-line analyses were carried out on filters collected with 6-hour time resolution. The concentrations of elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), total carbon (TC), levoglucosan (LG) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were determined. The ecotoxicity of CPM was assessed by the Vibrio Fischeri marine bioluminescence inhibition bioassay (ISO 21338:2010). We found (r > 0.498) positive and wavelength dependent correlation between the CPM related parameters based on optical response (OAC, AAE) and thermal stability (TC, EC, OC, OC/TC). We also revealed weak (r = 0.309) or moderate (r = 0.448) correlation between the AAE and the ecotoxicity data indicating that carbonaceous fraction of the ambient particulate matter has ecotoxicological impact. Based on the determined correlations, we propose the applicability of the AAE determined by multi wavelength photoacoustic measurements as a possible candidate for first-screening the toxicological impact of optically active carbonaceous ambient particulate matter. The strengths and the limitations of this methodology are both discussed here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1415-1426
Number of pages12
JournalAerosol and Air Quality Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution

Cite this

Pintér, M., Utry, N., Ajtai, T., Kiss-Albert, G., Jancsek-Turóczi, B., Imre, K., Palágyi, A., Manczinger, L., Vágvölgyi, C., Horváth, E., Kováts, N., Gelencsér, A., Szabó, G., & Bozóki, Z. (2017). Optical properties, chemical composition and the toxicological potential of urban particulate matter. Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 17(6), 1415-1426. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2016.09.0395