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Issue 3, 2011
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Saharan dust contribution to PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 in urban and suburban areas of Rome: a comparison between single-particle SEM-EDS analysis and whole-sample PIXE analysis

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Abstract

From February 15th to April 15th 2009, a period characterised by two episodes of Saharan dust outbreaks in Italy, particulate matter (PM) samples were collected at two stations (urban and suburban) in Rome. Some samples were selected and analysed using the SEM-EDS technique to characterise PM, focussing especially on the mineral contribution. Samples were representative both of days affected by Saharan dust episodes and days without this contribution. Cluster analysis allowed the attribution of each of about 67 000 analysed particles to one of the seven main statistical groups based on their composition. Characteristics of the particulate components identified using SEM-EDS analysis were verified by PIXE analysis carried out on filters collected in a suburban area. Ultimately, the contribution of crustal particles was revealed to be consistently high, highlighting the importance of local and regional mineral contributions, as well as those of Saharan origin. Therefore, quantifying all mineral contributions to resuspended particulate could lead to significant reductions of the PM level also on days not influenced by Saharan dust, thus limiting conditions when PM10 daily limit value (DLV) established by European legislation is exceeded.

Graphical abstract: Saharan dust contribution to PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 in urban and suburban areas of Rome: a comparison between single-particle SEM-EDS analysis and whole-sample PIXE analysis

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Oct 2010, accepted on 06 Jan 2011 and first published on 10 Feb 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00535E
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 732-742
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    Saharan dust contribution to PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 in urban and suburban areas of Rome: a comparison between single-particle SEM-EDS analysis and whole-sample PIXE analysis

    L. Matassoni, G. Pratesi, D. Centioli, F. Cadoni, F. Lucarelli, S. Nava and P. Malesani, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 732
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00535E

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