Author(s): van Alphen M
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Abstract A method for the determination of atmospheric heavy metal deposition rates has been developed using 0.5-m2 deposition trays at 0.1 m from the ground. Trays were spaced at 150-m intervals along a 1500-m line 500 m east of a Pb-Zn smelter. Ten sampling events of 1-3-h duration were conducted under westerly wind conditions so as to determine the sources of heavy metals deposited near the smelter. Deposited materials were sampled from the trays using wipes. There was good agreement between deposition trays placed side-by-side and exposed in pairs. Under certain conditions, however, the method is not appropriate owing to the potential for local contamination. Geometric mean deposition rates for Pb, Zn, Fe, Cu, As and Cd averaged over a nominal plume width of 600 m amounted to 18.8, 22.2, 12.2, 0.614, 0.403 and 0.052 mg m-2 day-1, respectively. Gaussian deposition profiles were seen for Pb, Zn, Fe, Cu, As and Cd downwind from the blast furnace, sinter plant, and refinery area. Zinc deposition could also be attributed to a northern Zn production area. This northern site was not generally associated with elevated Pb deposition. On the basis of this work, the deposition of heavy metals in residential areas adjoining the smelter is likely to occur downwind from the smelter site, with deposition rates increasing with wind speed. The strategic measurement of heavy metal dry-deposition rates over short periods of time using large collection surfaces provides source-specific information not obtainable by conventional long-term 'passive' deposition sampling. Lower detection limits than those achieved here are likely to be achieved in non-smelter settings. Previous suggestions implicating a sink of city surface dusts as the probable source of Pb recontamination of residential settings in the absence of ongoing smelter emissions are not supported by this work.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy