Authors: Janaka Gunawardena, Prasanna Egodawatta, Godwin Ayoko & Ashantha Goonetilleke
Abstract: Atmospheric concentration of total suspended particulate matter (TSP) and associated heavy metals are a great concern due to their adverse health impacts and contribution to stormwater pollution. This paper discusses the outcomes of a study which investigated the variation of atmospheric TSP and heavy metal concentrations with traffic and land use characteristics during weekdays and weekends. Data for this study was gathered from fifteen sites at the Gold Coast, Australia using a high volume air sampler. The study detected consistently higher TSP concentrations during weekdays compared to weekends. This confirms the significant influence of traffic related sources to TSP loads during weekdays. Both traffic and land use related sources equally contribute to TSP during weekends. Almost all the measured heavy metals showed higher concentrations on weekdays compared to weekends indicating significant contributions from traffic related emissions. Among the heavy metals, Zn concentration was the highest followed by Pb. It is postulated that re-suspension of previously deposited reserves was the main Pb source. Additionally, soil related sources were the main contributors of Mn.
Keywords: traffic emissions, heavy metals, air pollutants