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Studies of Atmospheric PM2.5 and its Inorganic Water Soluble Ions and Trace Elements around Southeast Asia: a Review

Abstract

Air pollution is a worldwide issue that is mainly caused from excessive inhalation of hazardous PM2.5 pollutant that is emitted into the air. The objective of this study is to assess the fundamental knowledge revolving PM2.5 (particles aerodynamic diameter of lower than or equal to 2.5 μm) and its inorganic composition in ambient air of urban areas, mainly in Malaysia in comparison to other Southeast Asia countries. This research also investigates the theory of particle number concentration (PNC) with PM2.5, also the health effects and origins of the emissions. The factors affecting the PM2.5 mass include the local emission, El Nino phenomenon, land, meteorological effects, monsoons, rainfall events, sea breeze, transboundary pollution and seasonal changes. 24 h mean PM2.5 mass concentration for metropolitan regions in the SEA is in the range of 11 μgm−3 and 72.3 μgm−3, while between 5.30 μgm−3 and 55.89 μgm−3 for semi-urban zones. For rural area, the 24 h mean PM2.5 value is about 30 μgm−3. The findings indicate that metals in PM2.5 emission are frequently Pb, Se, Zn, Cd, As, Bi, Ba, Cu, Rb, V, Ni, Fe, Ca, Mn, Cr, Al, Si and K, where Zn has the uppermost range of 133.50 to 419.30 ngm−3 while the major water-soluble ions exist are NH4+, K+, Ca2+, Na+, in which Na+, NH4+ and Cl- are present in aged sea salt and mixed industrial, Ca2+ and Mg2+ present in mineral dust, NH4+, K+ and SO42− present in mixture of SIA and biomass burning. There is a high correlation between the particle mass concentration and PNC level, especially the ones in accumulation mode (PNC0.1–1.0) which are mostly originated from the emission of heavy traffic streets.

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Acknowledgments

This research is financially supported by research university GUP TIER II grant (Q.J130000.2622.14 J61, Q.J130000.2722.02 K82 and Q.J130000.2622.02 J54) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai.

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Dahari, N., Muda, K., Latif, M.T. et al. Studies of Atmospheric PM2.5 and its Inorganic Water Soluble Ions and Trace Elements around Southeast Asia: a Review. Asia-Pacific J Atmos Sci 57, 361–385 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13143-019-00132-x

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Keywords

  • Atmospheric
  • Particulate matter
  • PM2.5
  • Southeast Asia, urban environment