Health risk associated with airborne particulate matter and its components in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Roy M. Harrison*, Dimitrios Bousiotis, A. M. Mohorjy, A. K. Alkhalaf, M. Shamy, M. Alghamdi, M. Khoder, M. Costa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Samples of PM2.5 and PM10 have been collected in all of four seasons at seven sites within the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The samples have been analysed for a range of trace elements. There is a large loading of wind-blown dust and the majority of elements are predominantly associated with coarse particles. Enrichment factors, however, show that some elements are markedly enriched above crustal abundance. Using mean data for the PM2.5 and PM10 fractions from each of the seven sampling sites, health risks have been estimated for particulate matter mass, the elements Cr, Mn, Ni, Pb, As, Cd and V measured in this study, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using data from an earlier study within Jeddah. Cancer risks are calculated from mean airborne concentrations and cancer slope factors for the carcinogenic metals and PAH, but the cancer risks are relatively modest compared to the lifetime risk of mortality due to PM2.5 exposure. The risks associated with exposure to V and Mn are considered to be small, while concentrations of cadmium far exceed the European Union Limit Value and World Health Organisation guideline. Cadmium shows a very high crustal enrichment factor but is present predominantly in the coarse particle fraction suggesting that local soils and surface dusts are unusually enriched in Cd relative to the global average. Using national data for mortality rates, the excess mortality due to PM2.5 exposure has been calculated and amounts to over 1100 deaths annually for the city of Jeddah.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-539
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date9 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017


  • Health risk
  • Particulate matter
  • PM2.5
  • PM10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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