Study of trace elements in wet atmospheric precipitation in Tehran, Iran

Abstract

In this study, measurements of the trace metals Zn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Cu, Fe and Al were performed on 53 wet atmospheric precipitation samples (snow and rainwater) collected at a central site of Tehran. Samples were collected using a bulk sampler equipped with a high-density polyethylene funnel from November to May in 2011 and 2012 on the roof of a building in the city centre. Trace metals in the filtered samples were measured with ICP-MS. Statistical analysis of the results revealed that Al, which is principally a crustal-derived element, was the highest mean measured concentration. The pH ranged from 4.2 to 7.1 with a mean value of 5.1. Crustal enrichment factors (EFc) related to the relative abundance of elements in crustal material was calculated using Al as reference crustal. EFc calculations indicated that samples were not enriched with Fe and Cr but were, fairly to extremely, enriched with Zn, Cd, Ni, Pb and Cu. Factor component analysis with varimax-normalized rotation was conducted to find the probable sources of the measured species. This resulted in two factors with eigenvalues greater than unity. Factor 1 showed an anthropogenic source, mostly industrial combustion and local traffic emissions, for Zn, Cd, Ni, Pb, and Cu while factor 2 showed a crustal contribution for Al, Fe and Cr.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Science for the financial support of this study. We also wish to thank Mrs. Shiri, technical staff in the air laboratory, for her cooperation.

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Correspondence to Amir Hossein Mahvi.

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Kamani, H., Hoseini, M., Safari, G.H. et al. Study of trace elements in wet atmospheric precipitation in Tehran, Iran. Environ Monit Assess 186, 5059–5067 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-3759-9

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Keywords

  • Trace elements
  • Wet atmospheric precipitation
  • Principal components analysis
  • Enrichment factor
  • Tehran