Main content area

Anthropogenic atmospheric toxic metals emission inventory and its spatial characteristics in Guangdong province, China

Sha, Qing'e, Lu, Menghua, Huang, Zhijiong, Yuan, Zibing, Jia, Guanglin, Xiao, Xiao, Wu, Yuqi, Zhang, Zhiwei, Li, Cheng, Zhong, Zhuangmin, Zheng, Junyu
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.670 pp. 1146-1158
adverse effects, arsenic, batteries, bioavailability, cadmium, cement, chromium, coal, combustion, emissions, emissions factor, factories, fluorescent lamps, gasoline, human health, humans, inventories, iron, issues and policy, lead, mercury, particulates, risk, river deltas, steel, toxicity, uncertainty, China
Atmospheric toxic metals (TMs) may cause adverse effects on the environment and human health due to their bioavailability and toxicity. High-resolution TMs emission inventory is important input data for assessing human exposure risks, especially synergistic toxicity of multiple toxic metals. By using the latest city- and enterprise-level environment statistical data, an emission inventory of five TMs (Hg, As, Pb, Cd, Cr) in Guangdong province for the year of 2014 was developed using a bottom-up approach. The total emissions of Hg, As, Pb, Cd and Cr in Guangdong were estimated as 17.70, 32.59, 411.34, 13.13, and 84.16 t, respectively. Major emission sources for each TM were different. Hg emissions were dominated by coal combustion (33%), fluorescent lamp (18%) and cement (17%). 78% of Hg emissions were in the form of Hg0, 19% of Hg2+, and only 3% of Hgp due to strict particulate matter control policies. Coal combustion (48%), nonferrous metal smelting (25%) and iron and steel industry (24%) were the major sources of As. Pb emissions primarily came from battery production (42%), iron and steel industry (21%) and gasoline combustion (17%). Cd and Cr emissions were dominated by nonferrous metal smelting (71%) and iron and steel industry (82%), respectively. Most of these TMs were emitted in the non-Pearl River Delta region, where the newly-built iron and steel industry, nonferrous metal smelting and cement production factories were intense. The uncertainties in the five TM emissions were high, due much to high uncertainties in TM emission factors and limited activity data. Thus, to improve the accuracy of these estimates, we recommend more field tests of TM emissions, especially for the industrial process sector. This study provides scientific support for formulating robust TMs control policies to alleviate the high risk of TMs exposure in Guangdong.