Author(s): Hjortenkrans D, Bergbck B, Hggerud A
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Abstract The increased awareness of traffic as a major diffuse metal emission source emphasizes the need for more detailed information on the various traffic-related sources and how and where the metals are dispersed. In this study, metal emission patterns in the road traffic environment were examined from the perspective of different surrounding factors, e.g. the importance of intersections, deceleration, vehicle speed and traffic density. A total of 148 topsoil samples from 18 south Swedish roads were analysed (using GFAAS) for traffic-emitted metals, i.e. Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb and Zn. The roadside topsoil metal concentrations were used to examine correlations between metals and surrounding factors. The studied metals were divided into three groups corresponding to different emission sources: metals from decelerating activities (Cu, Sb and Zn), metals as historical residues from the combustion of petrol (Pb and Cd), and non-source-specific metals (Cr and Ni). It was found that Cu and Sb, despite their rather short history as traffic-emitted metals, have increased more than eightfold in roadside soils compared to background levels. The major source of road traffic related Cu and Sb is brake linings. The significant increase of Cu and Sb in roadside topsoil stresses the need for metal transport studies as well as effect studies of these metals. Metals emitted due to decelerating activities were not correlated to elevated concentrations near road junctions. Emission patterns of traffic-related metals alongside roads are crucial in order to be able to evaluate the optimal localization of storm water treatment ponds.
This article was published in Environ Monit Assess
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography