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Evolution of Particulate Matter and Associated Metal Levels in the Urban Area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The levels of total suspended particles and airborne particulate trace metals were determined in three locations. Two of these locations are in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, where the main source of pollution is vehicular traffic. The remaining location is in a suburban area characterized by industrial and vehicular emissions, as well as natural input. Enrichment factors found in the downtown area for Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd were in the interval 21-3237, indicating an important contribution of anthropogenic sources. In the suburban area, Zn levels were unusually high (596.8–5475.4 ng m−3) and may be attributed to the proximity of a company that produces lubricants and lubricant additives.

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We thank CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) and CAPES for financial support and INEA, in particular Alzira Amaral Gomes da Silva dos Santos and Maria Isabel de Carvalho, for providing samples. We also thank João Vitor Cirilo and Aline de Oliveira Machado (UFRJ) for their search for industrial emissions sources in the studied area.

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Correspondence to G. Arbilla.

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Paulino, S.A., Quiterio, S.L., Escaleira, V. et al. Evolution of Particulate Matter and Associated Metal Levels in the Urban Area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 315–318 (2010).

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  • Airborne particulate matter
  • Trace metals
  • Industrial sources
  • Vehicular emissions