Tracer Elements analysis of Aerosols in the Atmosphere of Lahore using Radio analytical techniques
Institute of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, Lahore - 54590, Pakistan
The perturbations of atmospheric processes by anthropogenic activities of man have been of great concern these days. The deposition of trace and major elements from the atmosphere to the ground is an important factor for animal and plant health, and it is of major consideration in studies on the cycling of elements that may function in the atmosphere as nutrients or potentially toxic pollutants. When assessing the input of materials in natural waters and land, the sources and composition of atmosphere need to be determined. Geological and anthropogenic contributions to air pollution were monitored by analyzing aerosol particulates present in the atmosphere of Lahore. Various sorts of experiments were performed for studying total suspended particulate matter (TSPs) using gravimetric techniques. The average value of TSPs was found 450 ug/m2 in working days and 240 ug/m2 in holidays. Their size distribution and trace elemental composition and their wet removal through precipitation in the atmosphere of Lahore was studied by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) respectively. Eighteen elements were analyzed. Geological nature of the land was attributed the presence of Yb, Cs, Sc, Rb, Co, Eu, La, Ba, Zn and Hf s in the aerosol particulates. The presence of Cr, Fe, Ce, Pb and Cd could be linked to anthropogenic activities. Their amount was two times higher than the limits reccomended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the urban environment, mostly during working days and at various day and night time.
Key words: Aerosols / Air pollution / Trace elements / INAA / Precipitation and Urban Environment
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