Household and road dust as indicators of airborne particulate matter elemental compositionKlemen Teran
, 2020, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Household dust (HD) and road dust (RD) are widespread and easily accessible urban sediments, which are influenced by deposition of airborne particulate matter (PM). Since airborne PM is considered to be one of the most important pollutants in urban areas, with significant adverse effects on human health, a better understanding of its elemental composition and dispersion mechanisms is needed. The present study examines whether the HD and RD elemental composition can be used as a quick alternative method for the determination of corresponding PM elemental composition over a selected area.
In summer 2016, HD, RD, and topsoil samples were collected from 249 sampling locations distributed across rural, urban, and industrial areas in Slovenia. The collected samples were sieved for particle diameters below 63 μm and analysed for 53 elements with ICP-MS after aqua regia digestion. SEM/EDS analyses were applied for the determination of characteristic particles at the microlevel. Finally, the elemental composition of HD and RD was compared with the PM10 elemental composition obtained from National Network for Ambient Air Quality Monitoring governed by Slovenian Environmental Agency (ARSO) to determine any potential connection between them.
The results show that HD and RD are considerably enriched with a large set of elements compared to the topsoil. Correlations and factor analyses show that spatial distribution of factor scores in RD revealed strong regional trends, connected with soil resuspension (Al, Ce, Ga, K, La, Li, P, Rb, Sc and Y) or with anthropogenic sources such as traffic (Ag, Bi, Cu, Sb and Sn), steel mill emissions (Cr, Mo, Mn, Ni and W) and construction material decomposition (Ca and Sr). In contrast, HD elemental composition was highly variable between sampling locations. Variability was probably caused by indoor sources, such as smoking (Ce and La), biomass combustion (K, P and Rb), construction material decomposition (Ca and Sr) and residents’ professional occupation: dental care employees (Ag, Au, Pd) and employees in the metal-processing industry (Cr, Mo, Ni).
Among deposited particles in RD, urbanization processes, such as fossil fuel combustion and traffic emissions, including brake pad abrasion and tyre wear, contributed the largest share of particles with anomalous elemental composition. Brake pad abrasion, for instance, contributed Ba-, Cu-, Sn-, and Zn-enriched irregular, angular and tabular particles, while tyre wear produced elongated rubber particles with traces of Ba, Cu, and Zn. RD from urban areas showed significantly higher elemental levels of Ag, Bi, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Fe, Mo, Nb, Pb, Pt, Sb, Sn, Sr, Ti, Zn, and W in comparison to the rural environment, indicating the strong impact of urbanization on RD elemental composition.
Another important anthropogenic source of deposited particles in RD were steel mills. Strong anomalies of Cr, Mo and Ni were detected in their vicinity. Their elemental levels decreased with distancing from the plan location, reaching urban background levels between 15 and 20 km from the mills. SEM/EDS analyses identified enrichments of Cr, Mn, Mo, Ni, V, and W in spherical particles and particles with partially melted surfaces, which were found only in the proximity of steel mills, indicating their influence of the PM deposition.
Comparison of RD and the corresponding PM10 elemental composition showed that the RD fraction with particle diameters below 63 μm reflects PM10 elemental composition for the last 30 to 90 days for Cr, Cu, Mo and Zn and can be used as a predictor for PM10 elemental levels. This is not true for HD, as indoor particle sources prevail over the deposition of ambient PM10.
Keywords: household dust, road dust, particulate matter, PM10, pollution, Slovenia, steel mills, topsoil, traffic, urbanization
Published: 02.12.2020; Views: 14; Downloads: 5
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