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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Predominance of Secondary Organic Aerosol to Particle-bound Reactive Oxygen Species Activity in Fine Ambient Aerosol

Jun Zhou1,a, Miriam Elser1,b, Ru-Jin Huang1,2, Manuel Krapf1, Roman Fröhlich1, Deepika Bhattu1, Giulia Stefenelli1, Peter Zotter4, Emily A. Bruns1, Simone Pieber1,c, Haiyan Ni2, Qiyuan Wang2, Yichen Wang2, Yaqing Zhou2, Chunying Chen5, Mao Xiao1, Jay G. Slowik1, Samuel Brown1,6, Laure-Estelle Cassagnes1, Kaspar R. Daellenbach1,d, Thomas Nussbaumer4, Marianne Geiser3, André S.H. Prévôt1, Imad El-Haddad1, Junji Cao2, Urs Baltensperger1, and Josef Dommen1 Jun Zhou et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232, Villigen, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, 710061, China
  • 3Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, 3012, Bern, Switzerland
  • 4Bioenergy Research Group, Engineering and Architecture, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 6048, Horw, Switzerland
  • 5CAS Key Laboratory for Biological Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100191, China
  • 6Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH, 8092, Zurich, Switzerland
  • anow at: Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan
  • bnow at: Laboratory for Advanced Analytical Technologies, Empa, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • cnow at: Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Empa, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • dnow at: Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, 1900014, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are believed to contribute to the adverse health effects of aerosols. This may happen by inhaled particle-bound (exogenic) ROS (PB-ROS) or by ROS formed within the respiratory tract by certain aerosol components (endogenic ROS). We investigated the chemical composition of aerosols and their exogenic ROS content at the two contrasting locations Beijing (China) and Bern (Switzerland). We apportioned the ambient organic aerosol to different sources and attributed the observed PB-ROS to them. The oxygenated organic aerosol (OOA, a proxy for secondary organic aerosol, SOA) explained the highest fraction of the exogenic ROS concentration variance at both locations. We also characterized primary and secondary aerosol emissions generated from different biogenic and anthropogenic sources in smog chamber experiments. The exogenic PB-ROS content in the OOA from these emission sources was comparable to that in the ambient measurements. Our results imply that SOA from gaseous precursors of different anthropogenic emission sources is a crucial source of PB-ROS and should be additionally considered in toxicological and epidemiological studies in an adequate way besides primary emissions. The importance of PB-ROS may be connected to the seasonal trends in health effects of PM reported by epidemiological studies, with elevated incidences of adverse effects in warmer seasons, which are accompanied by more intense atmospheric oxidation processes.

Jun Zhou et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Jun Zhou et al.
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Short summary
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are believed to contribute to the adverse health effects of aerosols. We measured particle-bound ROS (PB-ROS) with an on-line instrument in two distinct environments, i.e. Beijing (China) and Bern (Switzerland). In both cities these exogenic ROS are predominantly related to secondary organic aerosol (SOA). PB-ROS content in SOA from various anthropogenic emission sources tested in the laboratory was comparable to that in the ambient measurements.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are believed to contribute to the adverse health effects of...