Inhable particulate matter from lime industries: chemical composition and deposition in human respiratory tract
Carvalho Filho, Marco A.S.
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Atmospheric environment : an international journal. - Oxford, 1994, currens
, p. 7027-7033
University of Antwerp
Air pollution caused by the lime production industry has become a serious problem with potential effects to human health, especially in developing countries. Colombo is a city included in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba (capital of Parana State) in South Brazil. In Colombo city, a correlation has been shown between the lime production and the number of persons who need respiratory treatment in a local hospital, indicating that the lime industry can cause deleterious health effects in the exposed workers and population. This research was conducted to deal firstly with the characterization of the size distribution and chemical compositions of particles emitted from lime manufacturing and subsequently to assess the deposition rate of inhaled dolomitic lime aerosol particles in the human respiratory tract. The elemental chemical composition and particle size of individual atmospheric particles was quantitatively elucidated, including low-Z components like C, N and 0, as well as higher-Z elements, using automated electron probe microanalysis. Information concerning the bulk composition is provided by energy-dispersive X-ray detection. The majority of the respirable particulate matter identified was composed of aluminosilicates, Ca-Mg oxides, carbon-rich particles, mixtures of organic particles and Ca-Mg carbonates, soot and biogenic particles. In view of the chemical composition and size distribution of the aerosol particles, local deposition efficiencies in the human respiratory system were calculated, revealing the deposition of CaO center dot MgO at extrathoracic, tracheobronchial and pulmonary levels. The results of this study offer evidence to the threat of the fine and coarse particles emitted from dolomite lime manufacturing, allowing policy-makers to better focus their mitigation strategies in an effective way, as well as to the dolomite producers for the purpose of designing and/or implementing improved emission controls.