Characterization and source identification of trace elements in airborne particulates at urban and suburban atmospheres of Tabriz, Iran.
Mohammad Sadegh Hassanvand
Amir Hossein Mahvi
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Concentration of particulate matter (PM10 and total suspended particulate (TSP)) and their elemental constituents were measured to identify the major sources of elements in urban and industrial suburban sites in Tabriz, Iran, from September 2012 to June 2013. TSP and PM10 samples were collected using high-volume samplers. Concentrations of 31 elements in aerosols and crustal soil were determined by ICPMS. The most abundant detected metals in the urban sampling sites were Al (217.5-4019.9 ng m(-3)), Fe (272.5-7658.0 ng m(-3)), Pt (4.7-1994.4 ng m(-3)), and P (13.6-2054.8 ng m(-3) (for TSP and Al (217.6-3687.3 ng m(-3)), Fe (197.1-3724.9 ng m(-3)), Pt (65.9-2054.5 ng m(-3)), and P (11.0-756.6 ng m(-3)( for PM10. In the suburban sampling site, the most abundant detected metals were Al (2083.0-9664.0 ng m(-3)), Fe (360.0-7221.5 ng m(-3)), P (229.4-870.5 ng m(-3)), and Ti (137.3-849.7 ng m(-3)) for TSP and Al (218.5-4179.6 ng m(-3)), Fe (106.3-2005.1 ng m(-3)), P (251.9-908.4 ng m(-3)), and Ba (10.6-584.9 ng m(-3)) for PM10. For the crustal soil, the most abundant detected elements included Al (60,088-60,694 ppm), Fe (19,886-20,474 ppm), Ti (894-3481 ppm), and Si (365-4246 ppm). Key emission sources were identified, and the concentrations contributed from individual sources were estimated. Enrichment factor (EF) explaining a preponderance of the variance in the data was applied to the datasets. EF calculations revealed that non-crustal trace elements were more enriched in the urban than suburban sampling sites. Results of the factor analysis on the elements showed that emissions from road traffic (involving oil and fuel combustions by vehicles, platinum group elements from vehicle exhaust, and resuspension of particulate matter from polluted soil) and construction dust from nearby construction sites and electricity generation plant were the major contributors of anthropogenic metals at ambient atmosphere in Tabriz. Results of this study elucidated the need for developing pollution control strategy, especially vehicle exhaust control, and creating green spaces around the city.