Monitoring of As, Cd and Ni in PM10 and topsoils in a ceramic cluster

Autores: Pallares, S.|Jordan, M.M.|Soriano, A.|Vicente, A.B.|Pardo, F.|Sanfeliu, T.
Fuente: Journal of geochemical exploration
109 (1-3), 146-154

Nowadays it is well known that ceramic clusters suffer from considerable air pollution due to the different pollutants into the atmosphere, whose levels can be toxic. Castellon province is home to the biggest nucleus of ceramic production in Spain, comprising 93% of the country–s total production. This nucleus, located around the cities of Castellon, Vila-real, Alcora and Onda, has had an important process of industrial expansion. The emissions, most of them particulate matter, can constitute a real environmental problem. Three sampling points were chosen (Alcora, Vila-real and Castellon), forming a triangle that comprises most of the ceramic cluster in the province of Castellon, Spain. This is a problematic area in relation to fulfilling European Directive 2004/107/CE, due to its high industrial development. The following objectives are raised: i) The analysis of the temporal evolution of the levels of As, Cd, Ni and PM10 in the atmosphere; ii) The identification of similar behaviour patterns and of the possible common origins in the studied pollutants; iii) To show the existence of differences in the behaviour and evolution of As, Cd, Ni and PM10 in the atmospheric medium depending on the location of the sampling point; and iv) To determine As, Cd, Ni and PM10 content in five topsoils near the emission focus and their biodisponibility. The concentration levels of As, Cd and Ni in Alcora, Vila-real and Castellon have been determined for the year 2002 in order to check whether they fall below the limits established for the future directive regarding these elements. The following conclusions are reached from the results obtained after chemical analysis (using ICP-MS) of the samples collected at the three locations. In addition, it was suggested that there was a direct relationship between the content of heavy metals in soils with the levels of PM10 atmospheric particles. The origin was attributed to dry and wet atmospheric deposition processes. Consequently, interesting research on dry and wet deposition of urban atmospheric samples will be conducted as an issue of another study.

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