Die risikoprofiel van Pb en Cr in stedelike padstofDie risikoprofiel van Pb en Cr in stedelike padstof
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Research group
AXES (Antwerp X-ray Analysis, Electrochemistry and Speciation)
Department of Chemistry
Publication type
Source (journal)
Litnet akademies : 'n joernaal vir die geesteswetenskappe
9(2012):3, p. 1-22
Target language
Afrikaans (afr)
University of Antwerp
The risk profile of Cr and Pb in urban road deposited sediment Exponential urbanisation and industrial growth occur on a global scale and result in an ecological burden, of which one important part is pollution. It is well known that the extent of air pollution has escalated over the past two decades in several parts of the world, despite mitigating measures and legislation. Current research points to the fact that air pollution in urban and industrial areas is substantially different from that found in rural areas. Road dust (RD) contributes up to 35% of airborne particulate matter due to resuspension thereof, and poses a health concern due to carcinogenic and toxic components potentially present in the micron-sized fractions. Although literature does report on the concentrations of trace, toxic metals and metalloids present in RD (Hooker and Nathanail 2006), the molecular make-up of particulates generated due to the resuspension of the RD is not well documented. In vitro and animal toxicological studies have confirmed that the chemical composition of inhaled particles plays a major role in its toxic, genotoxic and carcinogenic mechanisms, but the component-specific toxic effects are still not understood. Transition metals binding to air particle matter can result in reactive oxygen species in the human body (particularly in the lungs), and this is a significant risk, especially for vulnerable population groups like elderly people, children and terminally ill patients. The characterisation of the molecular composition of the fine fraction is evidently of importance for public health. During an earlier study, road dust from an inner-city environment in the UK was collected and partially characterised (Barrett e.a. 2010). These same-size fractions were analysed for their elemental concentrations, using X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRFS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). In addition, single-particle analysis was performed on the different fractions by means of Computer Controlled Electron Probe X-ray Micro Analysis (CC-EPXMA) and their molecular structure probed by studying elemental associations. These findings were correlated with Micro Raman Spectroscopy (MRS) results. It was found that the fine fraction (<38 μm) had the highest Pb (238 ppm) and Cr (171 ppm) concentrations. The CC-EPXMA data showed >50% association of Cr-rich particles with Pb and the MRS data showed that the Cr was mostly present as lead chromate and therefore in the Cr(VI) oxidation state. Concentrations of both Pb and Cr decreased substantially (279 (<38 mm) 13 ppm (<1mm); 171 (<38 mm) 91 ppm (<1mm) respectively) in the larger fractions. Apart from rather alarmingly high concentrations of oxidative stressors (Cu, Fe, Mn), the carcinogenic and toxic potential of the inhalable fraction is evident. Preliminary bioaccessibility data indicated that both Cr and Pb are readily