Skip to main content

Distribution, geochemistry, and mineralogy of aerosols in the Angouran Mine area, northwest Iran

Abstract

The Angouran Mine, located in northwest Iran, is the largest Zn–Pb producer in the Middle East. This study was designed to investigate the distribution, geochemistry, and mineralogy of the aerosols in the mining area and to assess their likely health impacts on the local residents. For this purpose, 36 aerosol samples were collected from 2014 to 2015 at nine sites located in mine district and upwind and downwind directions. The concentration of potentially toxic elements in the aerosols was determined using AAS instrument. Size, morphology, and mineralogy of the particles were studied using SEM and EDX spectra. The results indicate that the amount of total suspended particles in upwind, mine district, and downwind sites is 95.5, 463.4 and 287.5 µg/m3, respectively. The concentrations of PM2.5 in the three locations are 8.9, 134.7, and 51.8 µg/m3, whereas the PM10 contents are 2.9, 74.4, and 15.5 µg/m3, respectively. These observations point to the impact of mining activities on the concentration of aerosols in the local atmosphere. The values of air quality index also show the probable effects of the mining activities on the health of the local populations, especially for allergic peoples. The average concentration of Zn in the samples collected from the mining district (290 µg/kg) is much higher than its value in the upwind sites (27 µg/kg). The highest concentration of As (70 µg/kg), Cd (10 µg/kg), and Pb (3 µg/kg) is in downwind sites, which shows the negative impact of mining activities on the local air quality. Temporally, the highest concentration of the studied elements is recorded in spring season, especially for PM2.5 collected in downwind stations. Based on the results of SEM and EDX spectra, three groups of minerals, i.e., carbonates, silicates, and sulfides, are present in the aerosol particles, confirming the local source for the aerosols. SEM analyses showed that the aerosol particles with dissimilar chemical composition have different morphologies such as irregular, rounded, elongated, and angular. On the basis of the results, the mining activities in the Angouran Zn–Pb Mine may have various short- and long-term consequences on the public health, especially due to high amount of the finer particles (PM2.5) and the higher concentration of the potentially toxic elements in PM2.5 which can penetrate into the lungs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

References

  1. Aarnio, P., Yli-Tuomi, T., Kousa, A., Mäkelä, T., Hirsikko, A., Hämeri, K., et al. (2005). The concentrations and composition of and exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) in the Helsinki subway system. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 5059–5066.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Abrahim, G. M. S., & Parker, R. J. (2008). Assesment of heavy metal enrichment factors and the contamination in marine sediments from Tamaki Esturary, Auckland, New Zealand. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 136, 227–238.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Allen, A. G., Nemitz, E., Shi, J. P., Harrison, R. M., & Greenwood, J. C. (2001). Size distributions of trace metals in atmospheric aerosols in the United Kingdom. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 4581–4591.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Araújo, I. P. S., Costa, D. B., & de Moraes, R. J. B. (2014). Identification and characterization of particulate matter concentration at construction jobsites. Sustainability, 6, 7666–7688.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Boni, M., Gilg, H. A., Balassone, G., Schneider, J., Allen, C. R., & Moore, F. (2007). Hypogene Zn carbonate ore in the Angouran deposit, NW Iran. Mineralium Deposita, 42, 799–820.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Borg, G., Daliran. F. (2004). Hypogene and supergene formation of sulphides and non-sulphides at the Angouran high-grade zinc deposit, NW-Iran. In: Abstract volume of Geoscience Africa 2004. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, pp. 69–70.

  7. Boulevard, W., Arlington, V. A. (2014). Health effects of particulate air pollution. MECA report.

  8. Buzea, C., Blandino, I. I. P., & Robbie, K. (2007). Nanomaterials and nanoparticles: Sources and toxicity. Biointerphases, 2, MR17–MR172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Daliran, F., & Borg, G. (2005). Characterization of the nonsulfide zinc ore at Angouran, northwestern Iran, and its genetic aspects. In M. Jingwen & F. P. Bierlein (Eds.), Mineral deposit research: meeting the global change (Vol. 2, pp. 913–916). Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  10. Dockery, D. W., Speizer, F. E., Stram, D. O., Ware, J. H., Spengler, J. D., Jr., & Ferris, B. G. (1989). Effects of inhalable particles on respiratory health of children. The American Review of Respiratory Disease, 139, 587–594.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Eby, G. N. (2004). Principles of environmental geochemistry (p. 511). Lowell, Thomson: University of Massachusetts.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Fu, H., Zhang, M., Li, W., Chen, J., Wang, L., Quan, X., et al. (2012). Morphology, composition and state of individual carbonaceous aerosol in urban Shanghai. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12, 693–707.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ghio, A. J., Suliman, H. B., Carter, J. D., Abushamaa, A. M., & Folz, R. J. (2002). Overexpression of extracellular superoxide dismutase decreases lung injury after exposure to oil fly ash. American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 283, L211–L218.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gilg, H. A., Allen, C., Balassone, G., Boni, M., & Moore, F. (2003). The 3-stage evolution of the Angouran Zn oxide-sulfide deposit, Iran. In D. Eliopoulos et al. (Eds.), Mineral exploration and sustainable development. Rotterdam: Millpress.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Gilg, H. A., Boni, M., Balassone, G., Allen, C. R., Banks, D., & Moore, F. (2006). Marble-hosted sulfide ores in the Angouran Zn-(Pb–Ag) deposit, NW Iran: interaction of sedimentary brines with a metamorphic core complex. Mineralium Deposita, 41, 1–16.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Gong, W., Zhang, T., Zhu, Zh, Ma, Y., Ma, X., & Wang, W. (2015). Characteristics of PM1.0, PM2.5, and PM10 and their relation to black carbon in Wuhan, central China. Atmosphere, 6, 1377–1387.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Griffin, R. D. (2007). Principles of air quality management (2nd ed., p. 334). Baco Raton: CRC Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Hakanson, L. (1980). An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control: A sedimentological approach. Water Research, 14, 975–1001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Hidemori, T., Nakayama, T., Matsumi, Y., Kinugawa, T., Yabushita, A., Ohashi, M., et al. (2014). Characteristics of atmospheric aerosols containing heavy metals measured on Fukue Island, Japan. Atmospheric Environment, 97, 447–455.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Jafari, A., Keshmiri, B., & Khodayari, A. A. (2006). Mine ore reserve estimation using three-dimensional modeling. International Journal of Industrial Engineering and Production Management, 17, 97–104.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Kabata-Pendias, A. (2011). Trace elements in soils and plants (4th ed., p. 413). BocaRaton, FL: CRC Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Lewtas, J. (2007). Air pollution combustion emissions: characterization of causative agents and mechanisms associated with cancer, reproductive, and cardiovascular effects. Mutation Research, 636, 95–133.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). (2003). Manual of analytical methods, Fourth Edition. Method 7300.

  24. Nordberg, G. F., Fower, B. A., Nordberg, M., & Friberg, L. T. (2007). Handbook on the toxicology of metals (3rd ed., pp. 5–6). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Pachauri, T., Singla, V., Satsangi, A., Lakhani, A., & Kumari, K. M. (2013). SEM-EDX Characterization of individual coarse particles in Agra, India. Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 13, 523–536.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Parveen, R., Saini, R., & Taneja, A. (2016). Chemical characterization and health risk assessment of soil and airborne particulates metals and metalloids in populated semiarid region. Agra: Environmental Geochemistry and Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-016-9822-4.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  27. Pope, C. A., & Dockery, D. W. (2006). Health effects of fine particulate air pollution: lines that connect. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 56, 709–742.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Qishlaqi, A., Moore, F., & Forghani, G. (2009). Characterization of metal pollution in soils under two landuse patterns in the Angouran region, NW Iran; a study based on multivariate data analysis. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 172, 374–384.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Qishlaqi, A., Moore, F., & Forghani, G. (2010). Assessing the spatial variability of total and available cadmium in soils of the Angouran Area, NW Iran. Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal, 19, 707–724.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Rezaei, A. (1999). Geology of Zn–Pb Angouran ore deposit. In report of geology lead–zinc Angouran ore deposit, p. 1012.

  31. Schwartz, S. E., & Andreae, M. O. (1996). Uncertainty in climate change caused by anthropogenic aerosols. Science, 272, 1121–1122.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Sellaro, R., Sarver, E., & Baxter, D. (2015). A standard characterization methodology for respirable coal mine dust using SEM-EDX. Resources, 4, 939–957.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Sen, I. S., Bizimis, M., Tripathi, S. N., & Paul, D. (2016). Lead isotopic fingerprinting of aerosols to characterize the sources of atmospheric lead in an industrial city of India. Atmospheric Environment, 129, 27–33.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Sharma, M., & Maloo, S. (2005). Assessment of ambient air PM10 and PM2.5 and characterization of PM10 in the city of Kanpur, India. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 6015–6026.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Sharma, P. K., & Singh, G. (1992). Distribution of suspended particulate matter with trace element composition and apportionment of possible sources in the Raniganj Coalfield, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 22, 237–244.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Stockli, D. F., Hassanzadeh, J., Stockli, L. D., Axen, G., Walker, J. D., & Dewane, T. J. (2004). Structural and geochronological evidence for Oligo-Miocene intra-arc low-angle detachment faulting in the Takab-Zanjan area, NW Iran. Abstract Programs, Geol Society of America, 36(5), 319.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Tomlinson, D. L., Wilson, J. G., Harris, C. R., & Jeffrey, D. W. (1980). Problems in the assess-ments of heavy metal levels in estuaries and formation of a pollution index. Helgoländer meeresuntersuchungen, 33, 566–575.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. USEPA (1999). Center for Environmental Research Information Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Cincinnati, OH 45268, Compendium of methods for the determination of inorganic compounds in ambient air (vol. 3.2, p. 13).

  39. USEPA (2006). Guidelines for the reporting of daily air quality. The Air Quality Index (AQI), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711 (EPA- 454/B-06-001).

  40. Varshney, P., Saini, R., & Taneja, A. (2016). Trace element concentration in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and their bioavailability in different microenvironments in Agra, India: a case study. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 38, 593–605.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. WHO (World Health Organization). (2005). WHO air quality guidelines global update (p. 496). Geneva: World Health Organization.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Yanagita, Y., Senjyu, H., Asai, M., Tanaka, T., Yano, Y., Miyamoto, N., et al. (2013). Air pollution irreversibly impairs lung function: A twenty-year follow-up of officially acknowledged victims in Japan. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, 230, 177–184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Yang, Z. P., Lu, W. Z., Long, Y. Q., Bao, X. H., & Yang, Q. C. (2011). Assessment of heavy metals contamination in urban topsoil from Changchun City, China. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 108, 27–38.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Yongming, H., Peixuan, D., Junji, C., & Posmentier, E. S. (2006). Multivariate analysis of heavy metal contamination in urban dust of xi’an central China. The Science of the Total Environment, 355, 176–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Shahrood University of Technology Research Council for providing the means for this research. Financial support by the Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company (IMPASCO, research project no. 93/D/1601), Zanjan Department of Environment, as well as Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) is highly appreciated.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Giti Forghani.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ghadimi, S., Forghani, G. & Kazemi, G.A. Distribution, geochemistry, and mineralogy of aerosols in the Angouran Mine area, northwest Iran. Environ Geochem Health 40, 2087–2100 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-018-0084-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Angouran Mine
  • Aerosol
  • Mineralogy
  • Potentially toxic elements