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This thesis presents a comprehensive analysis of the global health impacts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in ambient air, conducted on the basis of a high-resolution emission inventory, global chemical transport modeling, and probabilistic risk assessment. One of the main strengths of the thesis is the concentration downscaling process, which provides a linkage between emissions and exposure concentrations at a comparatively high resolution. Moreover, by focusing on individual susceptibility, the thesis proposes an instrumental revision of current risk assessment methodology and argues that, if individual susceptibility were not taken into consideration, the overall risk would be underestimated by 55% and the proportion of highly vulnerable populations would be underestimated by more than 90%.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of organic chemicals, which include carbon and hydrogen with a fused ring structure containing at least 2 benzene rings (Baek et al. in Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 60(3–4), 279–300, 1991; Ravindra et al. Atmospheric Environment, 42(13), 2895–2921, 2008).
Huizhong Shen

Chapter 2. Research Background

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of organic chemicals, which include carbon and hydrogen with a fused ring structure containing at least 2 benzene rings.
Huizhong Shen

Chapter 3. Methodology

The emission inventory was developed using a bottom-up approach based on activity intensity and emission factor as follows.
Huizhong Shen

Chapter 4. Global Atmospheric Emissions of PAH Compounds

The emission inventory (PKU-PAH) was built upon a global high-resolution combustion inventory (PKU-FUEL), historical energy statistical data, and a spatiotemporally informed emission factor (EF) database. Sixty-nine sources are considered in the emission inventory. Due to lack of EF measurement, some sources such as volcanic eruption and non-ferrous metal smelting rather than aluminum production were not included in the study. However, these sources are supposed to contribute little proportion to overall atmospheric PAH emissions.
Huizhong Shen

Chapter 5. Global Atmospheric Transport Modeling of benzo[a]pyrene

Based on the PKU-PAHs emission inventory, global atmospheric transport of benzo[ɑ]pyrene was simulated with the consideration of its major environmental behaviors including gas–particle partitioning, air degradation, dry/wet deposition, and air–surface exchange. A BaP module was incorporated into MOZART-4 (The Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers, version 4). Near-surface concentrations were obtained from the model performance.
Huizhong Shen

Chapter 6. Global Lung Cancer Risks Induced by Inhalation Exposure to PAHs

It has been well illustrated that human exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through various routes is associated with cancer (USEPA 2014; Boffetta et al. 1997; Chen and Liao 2006). Increased lung cancer risks were observed from both occupational and environmental exposure to PAHs and well documented by previous studies (Boffetta et al. 1997; Armstrong et al. 2004; Brüske-Hohlfeld et al. 2000). As a result, one of the high-molecular-weight PAHs, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), has been classified as one of the most carcinogenic agents by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC 2014).
Huizhong Shen

Chapter 7. Conclusions

Global emissions, transport, exposure, and lung cancer risks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were quantitatively assessed in this thesis. Emissions of 16 parent PAHs from 69 major sources were estimated.
Huizhong Shen


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