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Study of Pb sources by Pb isotope ratios in the airborne PM10 of Zaragoza, Spain

AuthorsCruz Eiriz, M. T. de la; Laborda, Francisco; Callén Romero, Mª Soledad ; López Sebastián, José Manuel ; Mastral Lamarca, Ana María
KeywordsEnvironmental Science
Lead isotope composition
Issue Date11-Sep-2009
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (UK)
CitationJournal of Environmental Monitoring 11(11) : 2052-2057 (2009)
AbstractLead is a toxic trace element which produces harmful effects on human health, even at low concentrations, and it can be useful as ambient pollution tracer because the relative abundance of its four stable isotopes (204, 206, 207 and 208) depends on the emission source. This study was focused on the lead concentrations and isotope ratios in the PM10 of Zaragoza, in order to determine the main Pb pollution sources and to check whether the influence of the prohibition of leaded fuel was worthwhile. Two sampling campaigns from 2001 until 2004, the first one in which leaded gasoline was still effective and the second one with the phase-out, were carried out by using a high-volume air sampler able to trap the particulate matter equal to or less than 10 µm (PM10) on Teflon-coated fibre glass filters. Firstly, the Pb concentrations for the two sampling campaigns were analysed by inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). No statistically significant decrease in the Pb average concentration was obtained from the first to the second sampling. Enrichment factors showed that anthropogenic sources were prevalent during both samplings, in particular during 2001–2002. Afterwards, only those samples with higher concentrations than the limit of quantification of Pb were analysed to determine the lead isotopic composition by inductively-coupled plasma quadrupole mass spectrometry (ICP-QMS). To apply this analytical technique successfully, it was necessary to optimize the parameters affecting the measurement accuracy and precision. Differences were found regarding the lead isotope ratios for both periods finding that anthropogenic sources related to industrial processes were reflected on both campaigns. The gasoline contribution for the first campaign was 23% whereas for the second sampling this contribution was negligible, corroborating the success of the lead policies on the quality of the environment.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/b912274e
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