Author(s): FreerSmith PH, Holloway S, Goodman A
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Abstract Woodlands may improve local air quality by increasing the uptake rates of gaseous, particulate and aerosol pollutants from the atmosphere and can also act as relatively permanent sinks for some pollutants. Rough Wood, Walsall was selected for a study of the material which accumulates on tree foliage because of its location in a densely populated urban area, and its proximity to a motorway with high traffic flow (the M6) and to other pollutant sources. Methods were developed for leaf washing to allow determination of the quantity of dust and the identification of the dust particles present on oak leaves. Elemental analysis of particles was also undertaken using scanning electron microscopy coupled with electron probe microanalysis. A large proportion of particles were organic in origin. Of the inorganic particles, the majority contained silicon and aluminium in varying proportions suggesting that they were soil derived. Some particles were clearly identified as the products of combustion, and sea or road salt was present on leaf surfaces. Some particles contained copper, tin and titanium which may reflect the proximity of Rough Wood to local metal workings. The number of particles counted on leaf surfaces decreased as distance from the motorway increased.
This article was published in Environ Pollut
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering