Concentration and Source Origin of Trace Metals in PM2.5 Collected at Selected Canadian Sites within the Canadian National Air Pollution Surveillance Program

  • Valbona CeloEmail author
  • Ewa Dabek-Zlotorzynska
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Airborne particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of thousands of organic and inorganic species that emerge from a wide range of natural and anthropogenic sources. Numerous epidemiological studies have confirmed that PM and especially the respirable fraction of PM, the PM2.5 (for particles < 2.5 μm diameter), has adverse effects on human health. Although there is no evidence to pinpoint any single feature or component of PM as the cause for the observed epidemiological effects, it is apparent that metals contribute, at least in part, to the toxic and carcinogenic effects associated with exposure to airborne PM and for this reason have been the object of several epidemiological studies (Goldoni et al. 2006; Kawata et al. 2007; Lippmann et al. 2006). In addition, trace metals are proven to be useful tracers and are extensively used to identify sources of emissions to be targeted by the emission reduction policies (Querol et al. 2001; Lee et al. 2003; Gotschi et al. 2005; Querol et al. 2006; Querol et al. 2007b; Viana et al. 2007; Jeong et al. 2008). Therefore, monitoring of elemental composition of PM has become a crucial part of air quality programs in many countries around the world.


Trace Metal Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry Source Apportionment Trace Metal Concentration Spearman Rank Order Correlation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Mr. Tom Dann for his help with the NAPS results database, and Mr. David Mathieu, and all others who contributed to the analysis of the mass and elemental composition of the particle samples. We also gratefully acknowledge the provincial, municipal, and federal regional agencies and site operators for their cooperation.


  1. Balasubramanian R, Qian W-B (2004) Characterization and source identification of airborne trace metals in Singapore. J Environ Anal Chem 6:813–818Google Scholar
  2. Bottenheim JW, Dastoor A, Gong S-L, Higuchi K, Li Y-F (2004) Long range transport of air pollution to the Arctic. In: Stohl A (eds) The handbook of environmental chemistry. Inter-continental transport of air pollution. 4G, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany, pp 325Google Scholar
  3. Braga CF, Teixeira EC, Meira L, Weigand F, Yoneama ML, Dias JF (2005) Elemental composition of PM10 and PM2.5 in urban environment in South Brazil. Atmos Environ 39:1801–1815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. CAEAL (January 2006) P07: CAEAL Interpretation of requirements in ISO/IEC 17025:2005. Rev. 2.3. Canadian Association for Environmental Analytical Laboratories, Inc., Ottawa, ON, Canada, p 43Google Scholar
  5. Cattell RB (1996) The scree test for the number of factors. Multivariate Behav Res 1:245–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Celo V, Chen H, Dabek-Zlotorzynska E (2005a) Microwave assisted digestion of airborne particulate matter samples for trace metals analysis by ICP-MS. Part I: evaluation of different digestion methods using standard reference materials. Report-AAQD 2005-01, Environmental Science and Technology Centre, Ottawa, ON, Canada, p 45Google Scholar
  7. Celo V, Chen H, Liao X, Mathieu D, Dabek-Zlotorzynska E (2005b) Microwave assisted digestion of airborne particulate matter samples for trace metals analysis by ICP-MS. Part II: evaluation of different digestion methods using filter collected airborne PM2.5 samples and comparison with ED XRF. Report AAQD 2005-02, Environmental Science and Technology Centre, Ottawa, ON, Canada, p 35Google Scholar
  8. Chen H, Dabek-Zlotorzynska, E, Rasmussen PE, Hassan N, Lanouette M (2008) Evaluation of semiquantitative analysis mode in ICP-MS. Talanta 74:1574–1555Google Scholar
  9. Fang G-C, Wu Y-S, Lee W-J, Chou T-Y, Lin I-C (2007) Ambient air particulates, metallic elements, dry deposition and concentrations at Taichung Airport. Taiwan Atmos Res 84:280–289Google Scholar
  10. Finkelstein MM, Verma DK (2001) Exposure estimation in the presence of nondetectable values: another look. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 62:195–198Google Scholar
  11. Gilliom RJ, Helsel DR (1986) Estimation of distributional parameters for censored trace level water quality data. 1. Estimation techniques. Water Resour Res 22:135–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldoni M, Caglieri A, Poli D, Vettori M, Corradi M, Apostoli P, Mutti A (2006) Determination of hexavalent chromium in exhaled breath condensate and environmental air among chrome plating workers. Anal Chim Acta 562:229–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gotschi T, Hazenkamp-von Arx M, Heinrich J, Bono R, Burney P, Forsberg B, Jarvis D, Maldonado J, Norback D, Stern W, Sunyer J, Toren K, Verlato G, Villani S, Kunzli N (2005) Elemental composition and reflectance of ambient fine particles at 21 European locations. Atmos Environ 39:5947–5958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hagler GSW, Bergin MH, Salmon LG, Yu JZ, Wan ECH, Zheng M, Zeng LM, Kiang CS, Zhang YH, Schsuer JJ (2007) Local and regional anthropogenic influence on PM2.5 elements in Hong Kong. Atmos Environ 41:5994–6004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heal MR, Hibbs LR, Angius RM, Beverland IJ (2005) Total and water soluble trace metal content of urban background PM10, PM2.5 and black smoke in Edinburgh, UK. Atmos Environ 39:1417–1430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Health Canada and Environment Canada (1998) National ambient air quality objectives for particulate matter. Executive summary. Part 1: science assessment document. A report by the CEPA/FPAC Working Group on Air Quality Objectives and Guidelines. Public Works and Government Services Ottawa, ON, Canada, p 25Google Scholar
  17. Helsel DR (1990) Less than obvious: statistical treatment of data below the detection limit. Environ Sci Technol 24:1766–1774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Helsel DR, Gilliom RJ (1986) Estimation of distributional parameters for censored trace level water quality data 2 Verification and applications. Water Resour Res 22:147–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ho KF, Lee SC, Chan CK, Yu JC, Chow JC, Yao XH (2003) Characterization of chemical species in PM2.5 and PM10 aerosols in Hong Kong. Atmos Environ 37:31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jain RB, Wang RY (2008) Limitations of Maximum Likelihood Estimation procedures when a majority of the observations are below the limit of detection. Anal Chem 80:4767–4772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jain RB, Caudill SP, Wang RY, Monsell E (2008) Evaluation of maximum likelihood procedures to estimate left censored observations. Anal Chem 80:1124–1132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jeong C-H, Evans GJ, Dann T, Graham M, Herod D, Dabek-Zlotorzynska E, Mathieu D, Ding L, Wang D (2008) Influence of biomass burning on wintertime fine particulate matter: Source contribution at a valley site in Rural British Columbia. Atmos Environ 42:3684–3699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Junninen H, Manster J, Rey M, Cancelinha J, Douglas K, Duane M, Forcina V, Mueller A, Lagler F, Marelli L, Borowiak A, Niedzialek J, Paradiz B, Mira-Salama D, Jimenez J, Hansen U, Astorga C, Stanczyk K, Viana M, Querol X, Duvall RM, Norris GA, Tsakovski S, Wåhlin P, Horák J, Larsen BR (2009) Quantifying the impact of residential heating on the urban air quality in a typical european coal combustion region. Environ Sci Technol 43:7964–7970Google Scholar
  24. Kawata K, Yokoo H, Shimazaki R, Okabe S (2007) Classification of heavy metal toxicity by human DNA microarray analysis. Environ Sci Technol 41:3769–3774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim K-H, Mishra VK, Mishra C-H, Mishra K, Choi K-C, Kim YJ, Kim DS, Kim Y-H, Kim Y, Lee J-H (2005) The metallic composition of the aerosols at three monitoring sites in Korea during winter 2002. Environ Monit Assess 121:381–399Google Scholar
  26. Kuttatharmmakul S, Smeyers-Verbeke J, Massart DL, Coomans D, Noack S (2000) The mean and standard deviation of data, some of which are below the detection limit: an introduction to maximum likelihood estimation. Trends Anal Chem 19:215–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lee PKH, Brook JR, Dabek-Zlotorzynska E, Mabury SA (2003) Identification of the major sources contributing to PM2.5 observed in Toronto. Environ Sci Technol 37:4831–4840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lippmann M, Ito K, Hwang J-S, Maciejczyk P, Chen L-C (2006) Cardiovascular effects of nickel in ambient air. Environ Health Perspect 114:1662–1669Google Scholar
  29. Meza-Figueroa D, De la O-Villanueva M, De la Parra LM (2007) Heavy metals distribution in dust from elementary schools in Hermosillo, Sonora. Mexico Atmos Environ 41:276–288Google Scholar
  30. Minguillon MC, Querol X, Alastuey A, Monfort E, Miro JV (2007) PM sources in a highly industrialised area in the process of implementing PM abatement technology: quantification and evolution. J Environ Monit 9:1071–1081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moreno T, Querol X, Alastuey A, SGd Santos, Patier RF, Artinano B, Gibbons W (2006a) PM source apportionment and trace metallic aerosol affinities during atmospheric pollution episodes: a case study from Puertollano Spain. J Environ Monit 8:1060–1068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moreno T, Querol X, Alastuey A, Viana M, Salvador P, De la Campa SA, Artinano B, de la Rosa J, Gibbons W (2006b) Variations in atmospheric PM trace metal content in Spanish towns illustrating the chemical complexity of the inorganic urban aerosol cocktail. Atmos Environ 40:6791–6803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. NAPS (2008) Annual data summary for 2005 and 2006. Report 7/AP/39, Environmental Science and Technology Centre, Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada, p 367Google Scholar
  34. Negral L, Moreno-Grau S, Moreno J, Querol X, Viana MM, Alastuey A (2008) Natural and anthropogenis contributions to PM10 and PM2.5 in an urban area in the Western Mediterranean Coast. Water Air Soil Pollut 192:227–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Owen WJ, DeRouen TA (1980) Estimation of the mean for lognormal data containing zeroes and left-censored values, with application to the measurement of worker exposure to air contaminants. Biometrics 36:707–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Paatero P, Hopke PK, Begum BA, Biswas SK (2005) A graphical diagnostic method for assessing the rotation in factor analytical models of atmospheric pollution. Atmos Environ 39:193–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Perez N, Pey J, Querol X, Alastuey A, Lopez JM, Viana M (2008) Partitioning of major and trace components in PM10-PM2.5-PM1 at an urban site in Southern Europe. Atmos Environ 42:1677–1691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Querol X, Alastuey A, Rodriguez S, Plana F, Ruiz CR, Cots N, Massague G, Puig O (2001) PM10 and PM2.5 source apportionment in the Barcelona metropolitan area, Catalonia, Spain. Atmos Environ 35:6407–6419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Querol X, Zhuang X, Alastuey A, Viana M, Lv W, Wang Y, Lopez A, Zhu Z, Wei H, Xu S (2006) Speciation and sources of atmospheric aerosols in a highly industrialized emerging mega-city in Central China. J Environ Monit 8:1049–1059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Querol X, Minguillon MC, Alastuey A, Monfort E, Mantilla E, Sanz MJ, Sanz F, Roig A, Renau A, Felis C, Miro JV, Artinano B (2007a) Impact of implementation of PM abatement technology on the ambient air levels of metals in a highly industrialized area. Atmos Environ 41:1026–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Querol X, Viana M, Alastuey A, Amato F, Moreno T, Castillo S, Pey J, Rosa Jdl, Campa ASdl, Artinano B, Salvador P, Santos SGD, Fernandez-Patier R, Moreno-Grau S, Negral L, Minguillon MC, Monfort E, Gil JI, Inza A, Ortega LA, Santamaria JM, Zabalza J (2007b) Source origin of trace elements in PM from regional background, urban and industrial sites of Spain. Atmos Environ 24Google Scholar
  42. Qureshi S, Vincent AD, Khan AR, Swami K, Yang XK, Husain L, Schwab JJ, Demerjian LK (2006) Elemental composition of PM2.5 aerosols in Queens, New York: solubility and temporal trends. Atmos Environ 40:238–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rizzo MJ, Scheff PA (2007) Utilizing the chemical mass balance and positive matrix factorization models to determine influential species and examine possible rotations in receptor modeling results. Atmos Environ 41:6986–6998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Saliba AN, Kouyoumdjian H, Roumie M (2007) Effect of local and long-range transport emissions on the elemental composition of PM10-2.5 and PM10 in Beirut. Atmos Environ 41:6497–6509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Salvador P, Artinano B, Querol X, Alastuey A, Costoya M (2007) Characterization of local and external contributions of atmospheric particulate matter at a background coastal site. Atmos Environ 41:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shi G-L, Li X, Feng Y-C, Wang Y-Q, Wu J-H, Li L, Zhu T (2009) Combined source apportionment, using positive matrix factorization-chemical mass balance and principal component analysis/multiple linear regression-chemical mass balance models. Atmos Environ 43:2929–2937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith RL (1991) EPA Region 3 Guidance on handling chemical concentration data near the detection limit in risk assessment., Last modified date: March 8th 2007, US EPA, Accessed May 2009
  48. Teixeira EC, Meira L, Santana ERRd, Wiegand F (2009) Chemical composition of PM10 and PM2.5 and seasonal variations in South Brazil. Water Air Soil Pollut 199:261–275Google Scholar
  49. Viana M, Querol X, Gotschi T, Alastuey A, Sunyer J, Forsberg B, Heinrich J, Norback D, Payo F, Maldonado JA, Kunzli N (2007) Source apportionment of ambient PM2.5 at five Spanish centers of the European community respiratory health survey (ECRHS II). Atmos Environ 41:1395–1406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Viana M, Pandolfi M, Minguillón MC, Querol X, Alastuey A, Monfort E, Celades I (2008) Inter-comparison of receptor models for PM source apportionment: case study in an industrial area. Atmos Environ 42:3820–3832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wang X, Bi X, Sheng G, Fu J (2006) Chemical Composition and Sources of PM10 and PM2.5 Aerosols in Guangzhou, China. Environ Monit Assess 119:425–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. WHO (2000) Air quality guidelines for Europe. WHO Regional Publications, European Series, No. 91, World Health Organization for Europe, Copenhagen, p 273Google Scholar
  53. Wojas B, Almquist C (2007) Mass concentrations and metals speciation of PM2.5, PM10, and total suspended solids in Oxford, Ohio, and comparison with those from metropolitan sites in the Greater Cincinnati region. Atmos Environ 41:9064–9078CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Analysis and Air Quality Section, Air Quality Research Division, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Science and Technology BranchEnvironment CanadaOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations