Towards a holistic approach to the geochemistry of solid inorganicparticles in the urban environmentMartin Gaberšek
, Mateja Gosar
, 2021, original scientific article
Abstract: Airborne particulate matter (PM) has a major impact on the biogeochemical cycles of chemical elements in theurban environment. Anthropogenic-derived PM emissions are the cause of some of the most severe environmen-tal and health problems. The presented study aims to improve our knowledge of PM dynamics by introducing amulti-media, multi-analytical and multi-elemental holistic approach to geochemical studies of inorganic PM inthe urban environment. The importance of the holistic approach is highlighted and its application in a casestudy of Maribor (Slovenia) is presented. The chemical composition and individual particulate characteristicsof street, attic and household dust were determined and compared with the characteristics of airborne PM,and PM deposited in snow, together with the chemical composition of the soil. We found that the mineralogicaland chemical composition and the individual solid particle characteristics of the studied media differ consider-ably. Nevertheless, minerals of geogenic origin are present in all media. The highest levels of potentially toxic el-ements (PTEs) in all media, except household dust, are typical for industrial areas. Street dust primarily reflectsthe influence of winter road maintenance and industrial activities, while characteristics of household dust arepredominantly influenced by indoor activities and properties of dwellings. The comparison of the chemical com-position of attic and street dust indicates that emissions of As, Cd, Pb, S and Zn were higher in the past. The char-acterisation of airborne PM and PM deposited in snow is essential for the identification of the mostrecentsourcesof PTE-bearing particles. Several industrial sources and the fate of some particle types in the environment havebeen determined based on thefindings of the SEM/EDS analyses. This study confirms that various environmentalmedia are carriers of diverse geochemical information and highlights the importance of a holistic approach ingeochemistry of PM in urban areas.
Keywords: Street dust, attic dust, household dust, airborne particulate matter, potentially toxic elements, SEM/EDS
Published in DiRROS: 06.01.2021; Views: 1194; Downloads: 517
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