Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 10, pp 3929–3938 | Cite as

Heavy metals contamination in road dust in Delhi city, India

  • B. S. Rajaram
  • P. V. Suryawanshi
  • A. D. Bhanarkar
  • C. V. C. Rao
Original Article


Road dust samples were collected from four different areas having different landuse patterns: industrial, heavy traffic, residential and mixed use in Delhi city of India. The samples were analyzed for Ba, Co, Cr, Cu Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn by ICP-AES. Results indicate high levels of Co, Cr, Cu, Mn and Ni in samples collected from industrial area. Ba, Pb and Zn showed higher concentration levels in heavy traffic area while Fe did not show any discernible variation between the localities. The concentrations of Fe, Mn, Ba, Zn, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni and Co showed a decreasing trend. The content of heavy metals was comparable to those in other cities in the world. A multivariate statistical approach which includes Pearson’s correlations and principal component analysis was used to identify the possible sources of metals in the road dust. Enrichment factors were estimated for further confirming the sources of contamination. Significant positively correlations between road dust metals Cu–Mn–Co–Cr–Ni suggest that major common source of origin is industrial activities. A meaningful correlation between Ba and Zn, and a moderate positive correlation between Pb and Ba indicate the influence of traffic activities. Enrichment factors calculation indicated that Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn are moderately enriched whereas Co, Ni and Mn are less enriched while Ba exhibited very low enrichment in the dust samples. The results indicate that industrial and vehicular traffic are the two major sources. Traffic appears to be responsible for the high levels of Zn, Cu and Ba. High concentration of Co, Cr, Cu and Mn may be due to industrial sources.


Correlation analysis Enrichment factor Environmental pollution PCA Road dust 



The authors express their gratitude to Director, NEERI, Nagpur for encouragement and permission to publish the paper. Authors are also thankful to their colleagues who participated and provided support in the study. The authors also would like to thank all the editors and reviewers for their help in the development and improvement of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. S. Rajaram
    • 1
  • P. V. Suryawanshi
    • 1
  • A. D. Bhanarkar
    • 1
  • C. V. C. Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.Air Pollution Control DivisionCSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research InstituteNagpurIndia

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