Elemental content of aerosol particles in an underground tram station
Journal article, 2009
Particulate matter is an important air pollutant, especially in closed environments like a tunnel. The aim of this study was to determine the mass, black carbon, and elemental concentrations of particulate matter of two size fractions at an underground tram station in Hammarkullen, Gothenburg, Sweden. Samples were collected during June 2007 using a dichotomous virtual impactor separating the sampled aerosol particles into coarse (PM(2.5-10)) and fine (PM2.5) fractions. To minimize the possible influence of waiting passengers, the platform for trams going towards the suburb Angered was chosen. The elemental analysis of the samples, collected on Teflon filters, was carried out using energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry, resulting in concentrations of 14 elements in most of the samples. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to identify possible sources for the elements in the particles. Owing to the tunnel environment, the elemental difference between the fine and coarse particle fractions was not as large as that in similar particles collected under normal outdoor ambient conditions. Likewise, the influence of the local weather situation was not significant. Particle content from the tram traffic was identified by PCA, with Fe being the major element in both coarse and fine particles. The particle mass concentration was higher in the tunnel compared to the ambient concentration at the monitoring station Femman in downtown Gothenburg. In some days, the mass concentration exceeded the Swedish daily ambient air quality standard of 50 µg m-3, but it was lower than the limits in the environmental work act, 5 mg m-3.