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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Al-Khashman, O. A. (2005). Study of chemical composition in wet atmospheric precipitation in Eshidiya area, Jordan. Atmospheric Environment, 39(33), 6175–6183.
Al-Khashman, O. A. (2009). Chemical characteristics of rainwater collected at a western site of Jordan. Atmospheric Research, 91(1), 53–61.
Al-Momani, I. (2003). Trace elements in atmospheric precipitation at Northern Jordan measured by ICP-MS: acidity and possible sources. Atmospheric Environment, 37(32), 4507–4515.
An, J., Zhou, Q., Liu, W., & Ren, L. (2008). Horizontal distribution and levels of heavy metals in the biggest snowstorm in a century in Shenyang, China. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 20(7), 846–851. doi:10.1016/S1001-0742(08)62136-1].
Báez, A., Belmont, R., García, R., Padilla, H., & Torres, M. D. C. (2007). Chemical composition of rainwater collected at a southwest site of Mexico City, Mexico. Atmospheric Research, 86(1), 61–75.
Ball, D., Hamilton, R., & Harrison, R. (1991). The influence of highway-related pollutants on environmental quality. Studies in Environmental Science, 44, 1–47.
Bayraktar, H., & Turalioglu, F. S. (2005). Composition of wet and bulk deposition in Erzurum, Turkey. Chemosphere, 59(11), 1537–1546.
Blagojević, J., Stamenković, G., & Vujošević, M. (2009). Potential genotoxic effects of melted snow from an urban area revealed by the Allium cepa test. Chemosphere, 76(10), 1344–1347. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.06.037].
Cheng, M.-C., You, C.-F., Lin, F.-J., Huang, K.-F., & Chung, C.-H. (2011). Sources of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in rainwater at a subtropical islet offshore northern Taiwan. Atmospheric Environment, 45(11), 1919–1928.
Cong, Z., Kang, S., Zhang, Y., & Li, X. (2010). Atmospheric wet deposition of trace elements to central Tibetan Plateau. Applied Geochemistry, 25(9), 1415–1421.
Flues, M., Hama, P., Lemes, M., Dantas, E., & Fornaro, A. (2002). Evaluation of the rainwater acidity of a rural region due to a coal-fired power plant in Brazil. Atmospheric Environment, 36(14), 2397–2404.
Gabrielli, P., Cozzi, G., Torcini, S., Cescon, P., & Barbante, C. (2008). Trace elements in winter snow of the Dolomites (Italy): a statistical study of natural and anthropogenic contributions. Chemosphere, 72(10), 1504–1509.
García, R., del Torres Ma, C., Padilla, H., Belmont, R., Azpra, E., Arcega-Cabrera, F., et al. (2006). Measurement of chemical elements in rain from Rancho Viejo, a rural wooded area in the State of Mexico, Mexico. Atmospheric Environment, 40(32), 6088–6100.
Garnaud, S., Mouchel, J.-M., Chebbo, G., & Thévenot, D. R. (1999). Heavy metal concentrations in dry and wet atmospheric deposits in Paris district: comparison with urban runoff. Science of the Total Environment, 235(1), 235–245.
Hans Wedepohl, K. (1995). The composition of the continental crust. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 59(7), 1217–1232.
Hosseinpoor, A. R., Forouzanfar, M. H., Yunesian, M., Asghari, F., Naieni, K. H., & Farhood, D. (2005). Air pollution and hospitalization due to angina pectoris in Tehran, Iran: a time-series study. Environmental Research, 99(1), 126–131.
Hou, H., Takamatsu, T., Koshikawa, M., & Hosomi, M. (2005). Trace metals in bulk precipitation and throughfall in a suburban area of Japan. Atmospheric Environment, 39(20), 3583–3595.
Hu, G.-P., & Balasubramanian, R. (2003). Wet deposition of trace metals in Singapore. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 144(1–4), 285–300.
Kaya, G., & Tuncel, G. (1997). Trace element and major ion composition of wet and dry depositon in Ankara, Turkey. Atmospheric Environment, 31(23), 3985–3998.
Koçak, M., Kubilay, N., Herut, B., & Nimmo, M. (2007). Trace metal solid state speciation in aerosols of the Northern Levantine Basin, East Mediterranean. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 56(3), 239–257.
Kulshrestha, U., Kulshrestha, M. J., Sekar, R., Sastry, G., & Vairamani, M. (2003). Chemical characteristics of rainwater at an urban site of south-central India. Atmospheric Environment, 37(21), 3019–3026.
Laouali, D., Galy-Lacaux, C., Diop, B., Delon, C., Orange, D., Lacaux, J., et al. (2012). Long term monitoring of the chemical composition of precipitation and wet deposition fluxes over three Sahelian savannas. Atmospheric Environment, 50, 314–327.
Leili, M., Naddafi, K., Nabizadeh, R., Yunesian, M., & Mesdaghinia, A. (2008). The study of TSP and PM10 concentration and their heavy metal content in central area of Tehran, Iran. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 1(3), 159–166.
Loranger, S., Tétrault, M., Kennedy, G., & Zayed, J. (1996). Manganese and other trace elements in urban snow near an expressway. Environmental Pollution, 92(2), 203–211.
Martínez-Carrillo, M. Á., Solís, C., Isaac-Olive, K., Andrade, E., Beltrán-Hernández, R. I., Martínez-Reséndiz, G., et al. (2010). Atmospheric elemental concentration determined by particle-induced X-ray emission at Tlaxcoapan in central Mexico, and its relation to Tula industrial-corridor emissions. Microchemical Journal, 94(1), 48–52.
Melaku, S., Morris, V., Raghavan, D., & Hosten, C. (2008). Seasonal variation of heavy metals in ambient air and precipitation at a single site in Washington, DC. Environmental Pollution, 155(1), 88–98. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2007.10.038].
Migliavacca, D., Teixeira, E., Pires, M., & Fachel, J. (2004). Study of chemical elements in atmospheric precipitation in South Brazil. Atmospheric Environment, 38(11), 1641–1656.
Migliavacca, D., Teixeira, E., Wiegand, F., Machado, A., & Sanchez, J. (2005). Atmospheric precipitation and chemical composition of an urban site, Guaíba hydrographic basin, Brazil. Atmospheric Environment, 39(10), 1829–1844.
Mugica, V., Maubert, M., Torres, M., Muñoz, J., & Rico, E. (2002). Temporal and spatial variations of metal content in TSP and PM10 in Mexico City during 1996–1998. Journal of Aerosol Science, 33(1), 91–102.
Naddafi, K., Hassanvand, M. S., Yunesian, M., Momeniha, F., Nabizadeh, R., Faridi, S., et al. (2012). Health impact assessment of air pollution in megacity of Tehran, Iran. Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering, 9(1), 1–7.
Nakano, T., & Tanaka, T.-I. (1997). Strontium isotope constraints on the seasonal variation of the provenance of base cations in rain water at Kawakami, central Japan. Atmospheric Environment, 31(24), 4237–4245.
Nakano, T., Morohashi, S., Yasuda, H., Sakai, M., Aizawa, S., Shichi, K., et al. (2006). Determination of seasonal and regional variation in the provenance of dissolved cations in rain in Japan based on Sr and Pb isotopes. Atmospheric Environment, 40(38), 7409–7420.
Nriagu, J. O. (1996). A history of global metal pollution. Science, 272(5259), 223–223.
Nriagu, J. O., & Pacyna, J. M. (1988). Quantitative assessment of worldwide contamination of air, water and soils by trace metals. Nature, 333(6169), 134–139.
Omar Ali, A.-K. (2005). Study of chemical composition in wet atmospheric precipitation in Eshidiya area, Jordan. Atmospheric Environment, 39(33), 6175–6183. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2005.06.056.
Ozsoy, T., & Ornektekin, S. (2009). Trace elements in urban and suburban rainfall, Mersin, Northeastern Mediterranean. Atmospheric Research, 94(2), 203–219. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2009.05.017.
Poissant, L., Schmit, J.-P., & Béron, P. (1994). Trace inorganic elements in rainfall in the Montreal Island. Atmospheric Environment, 28(2), 339–346.
Saeedi, M., Li, L. Y., & Salmanzadeh, M. (2012). Heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: pollution and ecological risk assessment in street dust of Tehran. Journal of hazardous materials
Song, F., & Gao, Y. (2009). Chemical characteristics of precipitation at metropolitan Newark in the US East Coast. Atmospheric Environment, 43(32), 4903–4913.
Takeda, K., Marumoto, K., Minamikawa, T., Sakugawa, H., & Fujiwara, K. (2000). Three-year determination of trace metals and the lead isotope ratio in rain and snow depositions collected in Higashi–Hiroshima, Japan. Atmospheric Environment, 34(26), 4525–4535.
Uygur, N., Karaca, F., & Alagha, O. (2010). Prediction of sources of metal pollution in rainwater in Istanbul, Turkey using factor analysis and long-range transport models. Atmospheric Research, 95(1), 55–64.
Valenta, P., Nguyen, V., & Nornberg, H. (1986). Acid and heavy metal pollution by wet deposition. Science of the Total Environment, 55, 311–320.
Vasić, M. V., Mihailović, A., Kozmidis-Luburić, U., Nemes, T., Ninkov, J., Zeremski-Škorić, T., et al. (2011). Metal contamination of short-term snow cover near urban crossroads: correlation analysis of metal content and fine particles distribution. Chemosphere
Veysseyre, A., Moutard, K., Ferrari, C., Velde, K. V. D., Barbante, C., Cozzi, G., et al. (2001). Heavy metals in fresh snow collected at different altitudes in the Chamonix and Maurienne valleys, French Alps: initial results. Atmospheric Environment, 35(2), 415–425. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(00)00125-4.
Wise, J. P., Sr., Payne, R., Wise, S. S., LaCerte, C., Wise, J., Gianios, C., Jr., et al. (2009). A global assessment of chromium pollution using sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an indicator species. Chemosphere, 75(11), 1461–1467.
Wu, Z. Y., Han, M., Lin, Z. C., & Ondov, J. M. (1994). Chesapeake Bay atmospheric deposition study, year 1: sources and dry deposition of selected elements in aerosol particles. Atmospheric Environment, 28(8), 1471–1486.
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.
About this article
Cite this article
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
- Trace elements
- Wet atmospheric precipitation
- Principal components analysis
- Enrichment factor