Main content area

Heavy metal concentrations and contamination levels from Asian dust and identification of sources: A case-study

Lee, Pyeong-Koo, Youm, Seung-Jun, Jo, Ho Young
Chemosphere 2013 v.91 pp. 1018-1025
arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cities, cobalt, copper, ecosystems, heavy metals, human health, lead, nickel, pollutants, soil, water resources, zinc, Korean Peninsula
The aims of this study were to determine concentrations of selected metals (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Ni, Sb, Pb and Zn) in Asian and non-Asian dust collected in Daejeon, Korea between February 2007 and December 2007 and to estimate the pollution sources. The geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and the enrichment factor (EF) show that the pollution levels of Cd, Pb, Zn, Sb, Cu, and As are much higher than those of Cr, Co and Ni. As, Cd, Cu, Sb, Pb, and Zn are the ones most strongly affected by anthropogenic inputs such as airborne pollutants. The 206Pb/207Pb ratios of Asian and non-Asian dust are similar to those of the airborne particles in some heavily industrialized Chinese cities and the soils of the Alashan desert. To address the highly elevated levels of heavy metals found in Asian and non-Asian dust, studies should be performed to assess the potential impacts of settled particles on surface ecosystems, water resources, and human health in Korea.