Seasonal occurrence, source apportionment, and cancer risk assessment of PAHs in the second largest international holy metropolitan: Mashhad, Iran

Faezeh Mahdad, Alireza Riyahi Bakhtiari, Mazaher Moeinaddini, Sue Charlesworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Street dust resuspension is one of the main sources of particulate matter with impacts on air quality, health, and climate. This research was aimed to determine the concentration, source, and health risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in street dust of Mashhad city. To this end, USEPA-regulated 16 PAHs were measured in 84 dust samples using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The source of Σ16PAHs was identified using diagnostic ratios (DRs), positive matrix factorization (PMF), and principal component analysis (PCA). The measured Σ16PAHs demonstrated different spatial concentrations (from 1,005 to 9,138.96 μg kg−1) and showed higher levels in summer (1,206.21–9,138.96 μg kg−1), although 4-ring
PAHs exhibited maximum levels in both summer and winter. The findings revealed that the dust-deposited PAHs are predominantly emitted through combustion of fossil fuels (such as diesel and gasoline) and natural gas. The total incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) was assessed by considering three possible exposure routes separately for children and adults and calculated
carcinogenic risk values of 2.24E−06 and 2.14E−06, respectively. ILCR is above the baseline value (1.0E-06) for children and adults in both seasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13279-13291
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number9
Early online date28 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


This investigation was supported by the Academy of Environment Science, Tarbiat Modares University of Tehran, Iran. Publisher Copyright: © 2021,


  • Air pollution
  • Health risk assessment
  • PAHs
  • Source apportionment
  • Street dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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