Elemental constituents of atmospheric aerosols in Recife, North-East Brazil
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Environmental pollution: series B: chemical and physical. - London
, p. 143-163
University of Antwerp
Few data are available on the inorganic atmospheric pollution in the rapidly expanding cities of South America, like Recife, on the Atlantic Coast of North-east Brazil. Therefore, the elemental composition of atmospheric aerosols was investigated for nine sites in the Recife conurbation and a fairly remote site in the area. Total aerosol samples were collected on cellulose filters for analysis by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence and cascade impactors were used to collect the aerosols as a function of particle size for subsequent analysis by proton-induced X-ray emission. Local soil aliquots were also analysed. About eighteen elements were quantified in all cases. The average total atmospheric concentrations appeared to be well above natural levels but usually lower than, or comparable with, those of North American and European cities. Dispersal of sea spray and of local soil (often contaminated with, for example, Cu, Zn and Pb from industrial sources) contributes predominantly to the total atmospheric load in Recife. However, the particle size fraction results also indicated strong excesses in the small particle mode for S, K, V, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Br and Pb, mainly in the downtown area. Again, the corresponding enrichment factors were only moderate in comparison with other published urban data.