Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 367–378 | Cite as

Temporal variation of PM10 and metal concentrations in Tampico, Mexico

  • R. M. Flores-RangelEmail author
  • P. F. Rodríguez-Espinosa
  • J. A. Montes de Oca-Valero
  • V. Mugica-Álvarez
  • M. E. Ortiz-Romero-Vargas
  • M. Navarrete-López
  • H. J. Dorantes-Rosales
  • S. S. Morales-García


Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Ti, V, and Zn in particulate matter (PM)10 ambient air samples were determined for the urban zone of Tampico, Mexico every 6 days during 2004. A Wedding and Associates PM10 high-volume sampler was used to collect the particles on quartz and glass fiber filters. A Thermo Jarrel Ash inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) was used to identify and quantify metals in PM10 according to the USEPA-IO 3.1 method. A scanning electron microscope with an energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS) was used to analyze the elemental composition, size, and morphology of atmospheric particles. Principal component factor analysis (PCFA) was used to study the sources of PM10 and metals. PM10 and Pb concentrations in Tampico did not exceed the Mexican standard value of 120 and 1.5 μg m−3 in 24 h, respectively. PM10 concentrations ranged from 12 to 47 μg m−3. The results for Cd, Cr, and Cu are associated to the presence of an industrial source near the sampling site. V and Zn and likely Pb and Ni are related to a refinery. Fe and Ti are associated to natural sources, whereas Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, and Zn are associated to the storage and transportation of minerals near the sampling zone. Mn is associated to a ferromanganese manufacturing industry and to the refinery. The SEM-EDS micrographs show porous spherical particles rich in V and Ni and smooth spherical particles rich in C and O.


Air quality Factor analysis Mexico PM10 Source identification Toxic metals 



This work was partially supported by SIP-IPN under the project SIP 2007-1703. The authors thank Dirección de Medio Ambiente del Municipio de Tampico and Dirección de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente de la SOPDUE in Tamaulipas for providing filter samples and PM10 data. Comisión Nacional del Agua (CNA) and Servicios a la Navegación en el Espacio Aéreo Mexicano (SENEAM) provided meteorological data. Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT), Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, and Banco Santander for financial support to R. M. Flores-Rangel. The authors appreciate comments and suggestions by Erik Velasco, Geeta Singh, M.P. Jonathan, Mario Romero, and two anonymous reviewers. VMA thanks the SNI for the distinction of her membership and the stipend received.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Flores-Rangel
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. F. Rodríguez-Espinosa
    • 2
  • J. A. Montes de Oca-Valero
    • 3
  • V. Mugica-Álvarez
    • 4
  • M. E. Ortiz-Romero-Vargas
    • 4
  • M. Navarrete-López
    • 5
  • H. J. Dorantes-Rosales
    • 6
  • S. S. Morales-García
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada del Instituto Politécnico NacionalAltamiraMexico
  2. 2.Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigaciones y Estudios sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo del Instituto Politécnico NacionalMexicoMexico
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada del Instituto Politécnico NacionalQueretaroMexico
  4. 4.Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Azcapotzalco, Área de Química AplicadaReynosaMexico
  5. 5.Laboratorio Central de Investigación de la Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas del Instituto Politécnico NacionalMexicoMexico
  6. 6.Departamento de MetalurgiaEscuela Superior de Ingeniería Química e Industrias Extractivas del Instituto Politécnico NacionalLindavistaMexico

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