Sources of cellular oxidative potential of water-soluble fine ambient particulate matter in the Midwestern United States

Yixiang Wang, Joseph V. Puthussery, Haoran Yu, Yicen Liu, Sudheer Salana, Vishal Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the spatiotemporal distribution and sources of cellular oxidative potential (OP) in the Midwest US. Weekly samples were collected from three urban [Chicago (IL), Indianapolis (IN), and St. Louis (MO)], one rural [Bondville (IL], and one roadside site [Champaign (IL)] for a year (May 2018 to May 2019), and analyzed for water-soluble cellular OP using a macrophage reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay. Chemical composition of the samples including several carbonaceous components, inorganic ions, and water-soluble elementals, were also analyzed. The emission sources contributing to water-soluble cellular OP and PM2.5 mass were analyzed using positive matrix factorization. The secondary organic aerosols contributed substantially (≥54%) to PM2.5 cellular OP at urban sites, while the roadside and rural OP were dominated by road dust (54%) and agricultural activities (62%), respectively. However, none of these sources contributed substantially to the PM2.5 mass (≤21%). Other sources contributing significantly to the PM2.5 mass, i.e., secondary sulfate and nitrate, biomass burning and coal combustion (14-26%) contributed minimally to the cellular OP (≤13%). Such divergent profiles of the emission sources contributing to cellular OP vs. PM2.5 mass demonstrate the need of considering more health-relevant metrics such as OP in the design of air pollution control strategies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127777
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Cellular oxidative potential
  • Spatiotemporal distribution
  • Source apportionment
  • Positive matrix factorization
  • Midwestern United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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