Dataset for: DISTRIBUTION AND SOURCE OF REES IN PM2.5 IN XIAMEN, CHINA

PM2.5 (particulate matter with diameter ≤ 2.5 μm) is a serious atmospheric pollutant. Composition and source analyses are essential for controlling PM2.5. Rare earth elements (REEs) have received little attention as a component of PM2.5. In the present study, PM2.5 samples were collected in urban and suburban areas in Xiamen, and analyzed for REEs. The concentration range of total REEs (∑REE) is 12.07 to 98.45 mg/kg with the mean of 38.53 mg/kg in urban PM2.5, and 16.44 to 160.62 mg/kg with the mean of 42.94 mg/kg in suburban PM2.5. Light rare earth element (LREE) concentrations are higher in suburban PM2.5, whereas heavy rare earth element (HREE) concentrations are higher in urban PM2.5, implying distinct sources of REEs in urban and suburban PM2.5. δEu-∑REE and La–Ce–Sm 3D-scatter plots suggest that REEs in urban PM2.5 originate from gasoline and diesel vehicle exhaust, whereas those in suburban PM2.5 are mainly influenced by gasoline vehicle exhaust.