2015 Volume 38 Issue 9 Pages 1395-1403
To clarify the seasonal fluctuations in air pollution and the effect of long-range transport, we collected airborne particles (n=118) at Dazaifu in Fukuoka, Japan, from June 2012 to May 2013 and measured Pb and SO42−, which are indicators of the long-range transport of anthropogenic air pollutants, as well as their mutagenicity, and other factors. The levels of airborne particles, Pb, and SO42− were very high on March 4, 8, 9, and 19, and May 13, 21, and 22, 2013. The backward trajectories indicated that air masses had arrived from the Gobi Desert and northern China on those days. The mutagenicity of airborne particles was examined using the Ames test on Salmonella typhimurium YG1024. Highly mutagenic airborne particles were mostly collected in winter, and most of them showed high activity both with and without S9 mix. High levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found in many samples that showed high mutagenicity. For the samples collected on January 30, February 21, and March 4, the levels of Pb, SO42−, PAHs, and mutagenicity were high, and the backward trajectories indicated that air masses present on those days had passed through northern or central China. The Japan Meteorological Agency registered Asian dust events at Fukuoka on March 8, 9, and 19, 2013. The results of the present study suggest that high levels of anthropogenic air pollutants were transported with Asian dust. Similarly, long-range transport of air pollutants including mutagens occurred on days when Asian dust events were not registered.