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Determination of antimony and barium in UK air quality samples as indicators of non-exhaust traffic emissions

Goddard, S L; Williams, K R; Robins, C; Brown, R J C (2019) Determination of antimony and barium in UK air quality samples as indicators of non-exhaust traffic emissions. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191 (11). 641 ISSN 0167-6369

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The aim of this study was to determine concentrations of antimony and barium in air quality samples and assess the potential suitability of these metals as tracer elements for non-exhaust traffic emissions sources. Air quality filters sampled at monitoring sites around the UK for the purposes of the UK Heavy Metals Monitoring Network were subjected to microwave digestion in hydrogen peroxide and nitric acid, then analysed by ICP-MS for a suite of metals including antimony and barium. The average antimony concentration found across all the Network sites was 1.84 ng.m-3; the average barium concentration was 6.33 ng.m-3. The range of antimony concentrations observed was 0.13 - 8.02 ng.m-3; barium concentrations ranged from levels below the detection limit of 0.18 ng.m-3 to 39.9 ng.m-3. There are no legislative limits for antimony and barium in ambient air, but the maximum concentrations found are well below the Workplace Exposure Limits specified by the UK Health and Safety Executive. The highest concentrations were found at roadside sites situated to monitor traffic environments, supporting the suitability of antimony and barium to be considered tracer elements for traffic emissions sources. Strong correlations were observed between antimony, barium and copper, indicating they share a common traffic-related source. Based on the strong correlation with copper at urban and traffic locations, indicative annual UK atmospheric emissions estimates for antimony and barium in brake and tyre wear were calculated as 6 and 19 tonnes respectively.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Environmental Measurement > Air Quality and Airborne Particulates
Divisions: Environment
Identification number/DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7774-8
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2019 15:09
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/8584

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