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

Journal article
Authors Samuel Mwaniki Gaita
Johan Boman
Michael J Gatari
Annemarie Wagner
Sara Kluge-Jonsson
Published in Aerosol and Air Quality Research
Volume 16
Issue 10
Pages 2378-2385
ISSN 1680-8584
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 2378-2385
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2016.01.001...
Keywords Urban air quality; Human health; Particulate pollution
Subject categories Chemical Sciences, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Abstract

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.

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