Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 2039–2053 | Cite as

Air quality and PM10-associated poly-aromatic hydrocarbons around the railway traffic area: statistical and air mass trajectory approaches

  • Nazrul Islam
  • Shahadev Rabha
  • Luis F. O. Silva
  • Binoy K. SaikiaEmail author
Original Paper


Diesel engine railway traffic causes atmosphere pollution due to the exhaust emission which may be harmful to the passengers as well as workers. In this study, the air quality and PM10 concentrations were evaluated around a railway station in Northeast India where trains are operated with diesel engines. The gaseous pollutant (e.g. SO2, NO2, and NH3) was collected and measured by using ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy. The advanced level characterizations of the PM10 samples were carried out by using ion chromatography, Fourier-transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry , X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy with energy-dispersive spectroscopy techniques to know their possible environmental contaminants. High-performance liquid chromatography technique was used to determine the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to estimate the possible atmospheric pollution level caused by the rail traffic in the enclosure. The average PM10 concentration was found to be 262.11 µg m−3 (maximum 24 hour) which indicates poor air quality (AQI category) around the rail traffic. The statistical and air mass trajectory analysis was also done to know their mutual correlation and source apportionment. This study will modify traditional studies where only models are used to simulate the origins.


Air quality Aerosol PM10 Railway traffic Statistical analysis Air mass trajectory analysis 



Authors are grateful to Director (CSIR-NEIST) for his keen interest in this work. Special thanks to the Railway authority for giving necessary permission to collect the samples. A financial Grant from CSIR and MoEFCC (OLP-2012 and GPP-325) is thankfully acknowledged. Authors express special thanks to the Editors and esteemed reviewers for their constructive suggestion to improve the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nazrul Islam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shahadev Rabha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luis F. O. Silva
    • 3
  • Binoy K. Saikia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Polymer Petroleum and Coal Chemistry Group, Materials Science and Technology DivisionCSIR-North East Institute of Science and TechnologyJorhatIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)CSIR-NEIST CampusJorhatIndia
  3. 3.Department of Civil and EnvironmentalUniversidad de la CostaBarranquillaColombia

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