This study contributes to the current knowledge about air pollution in the province of San Juan, Argentina. Sampling was carried out to measure the fine particulate matter in the atmosphere (PM2.5) of the city of San Juan. PM2.5 was collected continuously during the winter and spring seasons of 2014 and 2015, and the concentrations of 14 elements (Pb, Ca, K, Cd, Ni, Cr, Mn, V, Cu, Ti, Ba, Co, Sr, and Fe) were determined in PM2.5 filters using the technique of X-ray fluorescence by synchrotron radiation (SR-XRF). The results revealed that PM2.5 presented annual and seasonal variations, showing a higher concentration during the winter seasons. In addition, for the elements quantified in the filters, a multivariate analysis (Positive Matrix Factorization) was performed to identify the main sources of emission of these elements in the study area, with a series of components being obtained that corresponded to their compositions, which were assigned physical meanings. The first factor, which was the most important in contribution of the sum of the measured elements (45%), was determined mainly by the elements K, Ti, V, Mn, and Fe, which came predominantly from soil particles. The second factor contributed 30% to the measured species in PM2.5, with higher Ba and Zn content perhaps being related to emissions from vehicular traffic. Finally, the third factor, in which Pb, Cr, and Ca predominated, may be an indicator of industrial activity and contributed 25% of the sum of the measured elements of PM2.5. The results of this study provide the first PM composition database in the province, and this can now be used in the development of mitigation and prevention programs.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 25, 2017
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