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Issue 4, 2002
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Determination of Pb and Cd in road dusts over the period in which Pb was removed from petrol in the UK

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It is commonly agreed that automobile exhaust has been the most important source of Pb pollution in urban areas, and that Cd may come from wear and tear of tyres. This study evaluates the fall in Pb concentrations in road dusts in Manchester as a consequence of the removal of Pb from petrol in January 2000. In the work presented here a slurry graphite furnace atomic absorption methodology for the determination of Pb and Cd in road dusts has been developed and is compared with an acid digestion method in terms of efficiency. The reproducibility and accuracy of the results obtained by acid digestion and the slurry method have been studied and a certified reference material CRM 038 was analysed to confirm the reliability of the proposed methods. Different factors were evaluated throughout this work including: (i) the effect of traffic density on Pb and Cd levels in road dust samples collected weekly during the period of May 1999 until September 2000; (ii) comparison between the Pb and Cd levels in a busy road and a residential street; (iii) the effect of distance from the source on Pb and Cd levels; The results of these experiments show a reduction in Pb levels over the sampling period. The relationship between road dust particle size and Pb and Cd concentration was also investigated in the 4–250 µm size range using the slurry method, showing that there is a relationship between metal concentration and particle size; the highest concentrations being for the smallest particle size.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Apr 2002, accepted on 24 Apr 2002 and first published on 01 Jul 2002

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B203905M
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2002,4, 567-572
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    Determination of Pb and Cd in road dusts over the period in which Pb was removed from petrol in the UK

    A. M. Massadeh and R. D. Snook, J. Environ. Monit., 2002, 4, 567
    DOI: 10.1039/B203905M

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