Urban Airborne Particulate Matter

Part of the series Environmental Science and Engineering pp 193-216


Application of Synchrotron X-ray Techniques for the Determination of Metal Speciation in (House) Dust Particles

  • Lachlan C. W. MacLeanAffiliated withHealth Canada, Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau Email author 
  • , Suzanne BeaucheminAffiliated withNatural Resources Canada, CANMET-MMSL
  • , Pat E. RasmussenAffiliated withHealth Canada, Environmental Health Science and Research BureauEarth Sciences Department, University of Ottawa

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An overview of synchrotron radiation-based X-ray absorption and scattering techniques for characterizing the speciation of metals in complex, heterogeneous samples, such as house dust, is presented. The complementary techniques are demonstrated on a house dust sample elevated in Pb (1,670 mg kg−1). The X-ray techniques successfully identified the speciation and sources of Pb in house dust samples, and provided an explanation for the observed high Pb bioaccessibility. Ultimately, this approach has the potential to fingerprint the various sources of metals and metalloids in houses (outdoor vs. indoor) and help determine any transformation processes that these compounds may undergo inside a building. Understanding these sources and processes will have important implications for risk management within the indoor environment.