Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 8958–8970 | Cite as

Relationship between magnetic properties and heavy metal contamination of street dust samples from Shanghai, China

  • Guan Wang
  • Jiao Chen
  • Weiguo Zhang
  • Yuying Chen
  • Feifan RenEmail author
  • Aidong Fang
  • Lijuan Ma
Research Article


In this study, for exploring the relationship between selected magnetic properties and heavy metal contamination of street dust in Shanghai, China, 160 samples from five different functional areas (industrial, high traffic density, commercial, residential and “clean” area) were collected and investigated by magnetic and geochemical analyses. It is found that the street dust exhibits a high concentration of ferrimagnetic minerals, which are predominantly coarse-grained. Meantime, the magnetic properties of the street dust samples exhibit significant differences between the five functional areas, namely, the values of χlf, SIRM, χARM, and S− 300 mT in the five functional areas all decrease in the following order: industrial > commercial > high traffic density > residential > clean. Calculation of enrichment factors (EF) and the Tomlinson pollution load index (PLI) indicates that the street dust samples are highly polluted in terms of their degree of heavy metal contamination. The values of χlf, SIRM, and χARM are significantly correlated with Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni, Mn, Cr, Ba, and Fe concentrations as well as PLI. In accordance with similar findings in other urban areas, these results indicate that magnetic parameters, such as χlf, SIRM, χARM, can be used as an efficient proxy for heavy metal pollution and anthropogenic activities in Shanghai. In addition, the results demonstrate that it is possible to distinguish different heavy metal pollution sources using a combination of magnetic measurements and geochemical analysis.


Magnetic properties Street dust Heavy metals Shanghai 



The authors thank Dr. Bin Lv and Xiuming Liu at Fujian Normal University and Dr. Li at Fudan University for their help.

Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 41001331, 41874077) and the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (grant number 15ZR1428700).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environment and ArchitectureUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal ResearchEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Geotechnical and Underground Engineering of the Ministry of EducationTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of Geotechnical Engineering, College of Civil EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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