The Atmospheric Concentrations of Pb, Mn, Cr, and Cd on the Korean Peninsula Between 1991 and 2006
In this study, an analysis was made to describe the pollution status of four trace metal species, Pb, Mn, Cr, and Cd in air using the data sets collected from 13 major cities in Korea over a 16-year time span (1991–2006). The overall mean concentrations (ng m−3) of these metals, if derived from the annual data for 13 cities, are found to vary on the order of Pb (113 ± 50), Mn (55.7 ± 19.3), Cr (11.3 ± 2.5), and Cd (3.58 ± 0.86). The distribution patterns of these four metals are in general fairly distinguishable on both spatial and temporal scales. The spatial (city-to-city) variabilities of each metal, if assessed in terms of their coefficients of variation (CV), are most prominent from Cd data sets followed by Pb, Cr, and Mn. If the concentration levels of each metal are compared between the first (period I: 1991–1998) and the second half term (period II: 1999–2006), their patterns are diverse enough to show reductions (Pb and Cd), increases (Mn), or no change (Cr). Such contrasting patterns were reflected consistently from the linear regression analysis of the annual data across the full study period. The overall results of this study confirm that the status of airborne metal pollution in most city areas has been controlled fairly sensitively by interactive relationships between the physicochemical properties of each metal species and their source-sink processes which conform to the varying environmental conditions.
KeywordsMetal Pollution Metal Species Full Study Period Metal Pollution Level Metal Concentration Level
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation (KRF-2006-341-C00026).
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