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Trace ambient levels of particulate mercury and its sources at a rural site near Delhi

  • Anita Kumari
  • Umesh Kulshrestha
Article
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Abstract

Atmospheric particle-bound mercury levels were measured in PM10 aerosols (HgP) at a rural site (Mahasar, Haryana) during winter 2014–15 and summer 2015. The PM10 HgP was determined by using Differential Pulse Anodic Stripping Voltammetry through standard addition methods while the trace metals were determined by using an Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. The mass concentrations of HgP varied from 591 to 1533 pg/m3 with an average of 1009 ± 306 pg/m3 during the winter, while the mass concentrations of HgP varied from 43 to 826 pg/m3 with an average of 320 ± 228 pg/m3 during the summer. However, it is difficult to assess whether these levels are harmful or not because there is no standard value available as National Ambient Air Quality Standard. The higher concentrations of HgP during winters were possibly due to favourable local meteorological conditions for the stagnation of particulate matter in the lower atmosphere and the increased emissions from existing natural or anthropogenic sources, regional sources and long-range transportation. Relatively low concentrations of HgP during summer might be due to increased mixing heights as well as scavenging effect because some light to heavy rain events were observed during summer time sampling. However, among other metals determined, the concentration of HgP was the lowest during both the seasons. The study may be useful in assessing the health impacts of PM10 HgP and other metals.

Keywords

Atmospheric mercury Voltammetry Trace metals Source apportionment Rural 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by UGC-UPA II project (Project ID 149). Financial assistance from DST-PURSE is also acknowledged for this work. Author Anita Kumari acknowledges the award of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (SPM) Fellowship from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India. We would also like to thank anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions for improvement of this manuscript.

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corrected publication 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental ScienceJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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