Determination of elemental composition of atmospheric aerosol in the urban area of Islamabad, Pakistan
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This study provides useful information about the level and chemical composition of particulate matter and about the possible sources of the aerosol pollutant in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Atmospheric aerosol samples were collected during winter (January and February) 1995, from two locations of Islamabad, namely of Sector F-7 and Sector I-9. Twenty-four elements were detected by using thermal neutron activation analysis (NAA) and atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). The concentration of total suspended particulates (TSP) in the area around the industrial sector (I-9) was found to be more than twice higher (297 μg/m3) than in the Sector F-7 (133 μg/m3). The enrichment factor analysis revealed Zn, As, Br, Sb, I and Pb, originated mainly from anthropogenic sources. The elemental ratio analysis indicated that both Sectors I-9 and F-7 are under the influence of coal burning processes whereas transportation is responsible for the toxic pollutants Pb and Br. The present results were discussed and compared with those of the literature. The results may also serve as base line level as this work employed samples collected in 1995 and many of the air environmental change factors occurred after the sampling year.
KeywordsElemental Composition Enrichment Factor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Neutron Activation Analysis Thermal Neutron
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