Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 457–468 | Cite as

Chemical composition of aerosol in São Paulo, Brazil: influence of the transport of pollutants

  • G. M. Pereira
  • N. De Oliveira Alves
  • S. E. S. Caumo
  • S. Soares
  • K. Teinilä
  • D. Custódio
  • R. Hillamo
  • C. Alves
  • P. C. Vasconcellos


São Paulo is a Latin American megacity impacted by heavy traffic emissions and also affected by biomass burning and biogenic emissions. To better understand the sources of pollution during a highly polluted period, PM10 samples were collected in an intensive campaign in 2013. The concentrations of particulate matter, organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), biomass burning tracers (levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan), water-soluble ions, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined to identify the main sources affecting the air quality. The PAHs results were compared to an intensive campaign done in 2012. Backward air masses trajectories were used in other to investigate the influence of remote sources. The average benzo[a]pyrene equivalent index (BaPE) values represented a higher cancer risk in 2013 samples than in 2012; the diagnostic ratios indicated vehicular emissions for both campaigns but fresher particles emission for 2013 campaign. During the 2013 campaign, the samples presented good correlations between OC and EC with monosaccharides, suggesting an influence of biomass burning on the carbonaceous species. Levoglucosan to mannosan ratio indicated the influence of sugarcane burning; the backward air masses trajectories suggested transport of aerosol from the sugarcane production region in 60 % of the sampling days.


Atmospheric pollution Atmospheric particulate matter Aerosol transport Organic pollutants Water-soluble ions Biomass burning 



This work was partially supported by grants from FAPESP, São Paulo Research Foundation. G.M. Pereira also thanks CNPq (Project 152601/2013-9), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, for the postgraduate scholarship and Santander Bank, for international scholarship. The authors also thank the INCT—Energy and Environment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. Pereira
    • 1
  • N. De Oliveira Alves
    • 2
  • S. E. S. Caumo
    • 1
  • S. Soares
    • 1
  • K. Teinilä
    • 3
  • D. Custódio
    • 4
  • R. Hillamo
    • 3
  • C. Alves
    • 4
  • P. C. Vasconcellos
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Finnish Meteorological Institute, Air Quality ResearchHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.CESAM and Department of EnvironmentUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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