Variations of Cd/Pb and Zn/Pb ratios in Taipei aerosols reflecting long-range transport or local pollution emissions

Shih Chieh Hsu, Chen Liu Shaw, Woei Lih Jeng, Fei Jan Lin, Yi Tang Huang, Shih Chun Candice Lung, Tsun Hsien Liu, Jien Yi Tu

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Along with windblown dust, large quantities of pollutants are annually brought out of continental China by the westerlies in winter and spring; thereafter, they are partly subjected to transport by northeastern monsoon winds to Taiwan. To characterize the heavy metal composition differences between long-range transported and local aerosols and to evaluate metal contributions from long-range transported aerosols during the northeastern monsoon season, both PM10 and PM2.5 aerosols collected from Taipei, Taiwan from February 2002 to March 2003 were analyzed for three selected heavy metals, namely Pb, Cd and Zn using ICP-MS. Monthly patterns show that Pb concentrations in winter (62 ng/m3) were over two times higher than those in the other seasons, which is attributed to long-range transport from areas under development in China. Low Cd/Pb (0.017) and Zn/Pb (1.82) ratios were measured in aerosols collected during the Asian dust period, in which the ambient aerosols consisted predominantly of long-range transported pollutants. By contrast, high Cd/Pb (0.030) and Zn/Pb (3.44) ratios were observed during the summer monsoon season, in which aerosols were dominated by local pollutant emissions. Cd/Pb and Zn/Pb ratios appear to be successfully applied to identify the pollutants originating principally from the long-range transport or from local emissions. In addition, by assuming that a significant fraction of heavy metals associated with coarse airborne dust have settled to the sea prior to reaching Taiwan in spring, a mechanism is suggested to explain why higher anthropogenic metal concentrations occurred in winter than those in dust-rich spring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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