Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 849–859 | Cite as

Composition of selected heavy metals in road dust from Kuala Lumpur city centre

  • Nur Mun’im Mohd Han
  • Mohd Talib LatifEmail author
  • Murnira Othman
  • Doreena Dominick
  • Noorlin Mohamad
  • Hafizan Juahir
  • Norhayati Mohd Tahir
Original Article


This study was carried out in order to determine the concentration of heavy metals, e.g., lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) and chromium (Cr) in road dust in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. Samples were collected from four sampling locations, each of which had four sampling points and three replications. Heavy metals from different fractions of particles separated by different diameter sizes: d < 63 μm (Fraction A), 63 < d < 125 μm (Fraction B) and 125 < d < 250 μm (Fraction C) were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The results from this study showed that concentration of heavy metals was dominated by the smallest particle size: <63 μm and that Fe was the most abundant heavy metal overall, followed by Cu > Mn > Zn > Pb > Ni > Cr > Cd. The fact that Cd had the highest enrichment factor value (EF) for all particle sizes indicates that anthropogenic activities contributed to the presence of this metal. There was also a higher EF value for heavy metals in small particle (Fraction A), compared to Fraction B and C, which suggests that fine particles were being produced through anthropogenic activities. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis demonstrated the likelihood of the heavy metals detected in the road dust, originating from road traffic and industrial activities.


Heavy metals Road dust Particle size City centre PCA 



The authors would like to thank Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for the Research University Grant (DIP-2012-020). We also would like to thank the Ministry of Education for its Fundamental Research Grant (FRGS/1/2013/STWN01/UKM/02/2). Special thanks to Ms K Alexander for proofreading this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nur Mun’im Mohd Han
    • 1
  • Mohd Talib Latif
    • 1
    Email author
  • Murnira Othman
    • 1
  • Doreena Dominick
    • 2
  • Noorlin Mohamad
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hafizan Juahir
    • 4
  • Norhayati Mohd Tahir
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and Technology, School of Environmental and Natural Resource SciencesUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environmental StudiesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Engineering Science, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia
  4. 4.East Coast Environmental Research Institute (ESERI)Universiti Sultan Zainal AbidinKuala TerengganuMalaysia
  5. 5.Environmental Research Group, Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia

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