The valence state and concentration of metallic pollutants are important factors contributing to the health effects of respirable particulate matter (PM); however, they have not been well studied. In this study, coarse and fine powder samples of atmospheric PM were collected using a cyclone system at Kanagawa (KO), Saitama (SA), and Fukuoka (FU) in Japan in 2017. Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (EDXRF) was used to measure the concentrations of nine metallic elements (Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb), and X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy was used to analyze the valence states of target elements (Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn). The EDXRF results indicated that the average contents of Fe, Ti, and Zn were much higher than those of the other six elements in all samples. The XAFS results showed that the major valence states of the elements were Cr(III), Mn(II), Fe(III), Cu(II), and Zn(II). The percentages of Mn(IV), Fe(II), and Cu(0) were higher in KO and SA samples than in FU samples. Mn(0) and Zn(0) were detected in some samples only, and Cu(I) was not detected in any samples. Correlation analysis, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis were performed on the EDXRF and XAFS data of the target elements. The source identification results showed that the sources of metal contaminants in the samples varied considerably between sampling sites and depended on the industrial structure and geographical location of the sampling area. Our findings on the different valence states of the elements may be important for determining the toxicity of PM at different locations.
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