Lead particles in an urban atmosphere : an individual particle approach
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
The science of the total environment. - Amsterdam
, p. 55-66
University of Antwerp
In air particulate matter, sampled at a suburban site near the city of Antwerp, Belgium, more than 1500 individual Pb-containing aerosol particles with projected diameters between 0.2 and 15 μm were analyzed by automated electron probe X-ray micro analysis (EPXMA) for 26 elements and morphological features. Laser microprobe mass analysis (LAMMA) was used to detect elements with Z < 11, particularly ammonium compounds. The Pb-containing particles were classified into five main classes: Pb-sulfates, Pb-halides, soil related Pb, Pb associated with medium atomic number elements and Pb associated with high atomic number elements. Each class was divided into several distinct particle types, of which the abundance (in number and mass %), the mean projected particle diameter, and the chemical composition were determined. Auto exhaust products are responsible for Pb-sulfates and Pb-halides, making up respectively 66.7 and 27.8% by mass of the Pb-containing particles. Ammonium sulfate coatings were found to be present on nearly all Pb particles. The observations were correlated with daily concentrations of Pb and Br, obtained by particle induced X-ray emission analysis (PIXE).