Characterization of Size-Fractionated Particulate Matter and Deposition Fractions in Human Respiratory System in a Typical African City: Nairobi, Kenya
Journal article, 2016

Information from elemental and mass composition of size-fractionated airborne particle matter (PM) provides insightful knowledge about their impact on human health, meteorology and climate. To attain insight into the nature of sizefractionated PM from a typical African city, samples were collected from an urban background site in Nairobi, Kenya, during the months of August and September in 2007. PM samples ranging in size from 0.06 to 16 µm aerodynamic diameter were collected on pre-weighed polycarbonate filters with 0.4 µm pore size using a nine-stage cascade impactor. Particles less than 0.06 µm were collected on a backup filter. A total of 170 samples were collected and analysed for trace elements using the Proton Induced X-Ray Emission (PIXE) technique. The analysis showed that Si, Fe and S dominated in all size ranges and displayed unimodal mass-size distribution whereas K, Cu, Zn and Pb, depicted bimodal mass-size distribution highlighting the multiplicity of their sources. To estimate human exposure to PM, deposition fractions of both the coarse and fine PM in the human respiratory system were calculated. The deposited concentration was found to be highest in the head airways region compared to the tracheobronchial and pulmonary regions.

Human health

Particulate pollution

Urban air quality


Samuel Mwaniki Gaita

University of Gothenburg

Johan Boman

University of Gothenburg

Michael J Gatari

University of Nairobi

Annemarie Wagner

Chalmers, Physics

Sara Kluge-Jonsson

University of Gothenburg

Aerosol and Air Quality Research

1680-8584 (ISSN) 2071-1409 (eISSN)

Vol. 16 10 2378-2385

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Chemical Sciences



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