Author(s): Anwar Jiries
Road dust from four traffic areas; the city center, tunnels, closed car parks and a residential area was collected from the urban part of Amman and analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heavy metals content.
Total PAH and selected heavy metals were in the range of a few μg g−1. The distribution of PAH was controlled by the arid climatic conditions. PAH distribution in the street dust tended to be dominated by 4- and 6-ring PAHs with significantly less 2- and 3-ring PAH reflecting volatilization of the latter under the hot and dry climatic conditions. However, both PAH and heavy metal concentrations were affected by the densities and conditions of traffic activity at the various sites. Generally, the highest concentrations of both PAH and heavy metals were found in the tunnels and the lowest in the residential areas.
Significant correlation between PAH and total organic matter (TOM), lead and cadmium indicated that PAH and heavy metals in street dust of heavily traffic areas are strongly affected by automobile exhaust emission and that those in the residential areas have another source, most probably street material erosion.