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Abstract

Presented study aimed to determine metals distribution on the quartz fiber filters surface coated with particulate matter by using high and low-volume samplers. The distribution pattern was tested using two different sub-sampling schemes. Each sub-sample was mineralized in the nitric acid in a microwave oven. An analysis was performed by means of atomic absorption spectroscopy with electrothermal atomization GF-AAS technique, and the determined elements were: As, Cd, Pb and Ni. A validation of the analytical procedure was carried out using NIES 28 Urban Aerosols standard reference material. It was assumed that metal is distributed uniformly if its normalized concentrations on a single sub-sample is within ±15% of the mean concentration over the whole filter. The normalized concentrations values exceed this range, indicating a non-homogenous metals distribution. There were no statistically significant differences in metals concentrations between particular sub-samples in the function of its position along the filters diameter.
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Abstract

The paper presents a method of identifying distant emission sources of fine particulate matter PM2.5 affecting significantly PM2.5 concentrations at a given location. The method involves spatial analysis of aggregate information about PM2.5 concentrations measured at the location and air masses backward trajectories calculated by HYSPLIT model. The method was examined for three locations of PM2.5 measurement stations (Diabla Góra, Gdańsk, and Katowice) which represented different environmental conditions. The backward trajectories were calculated starting from different heights (30, 50, 100 and 150 m a. g. l.). All points of a single backward trajectory were assigned to the PM2.5 concentration corresponding to the date and the site of the beginning of trajectory calculation. Daily average concentrations of PM2.5 were used, and in the case of Gdańsk also hourly ones. It enabled to assess the effectiveness of the presented method using daily averages if hourly ones were not available. Locations of distant sources of fine particulate matter emission were determined by assigning to each grid node a mean value of PM2.5 concentrations associated with the trajectories points located within the so-called search ellipse. Nearby sources of fine particulate matter emission were eliminated by filtering the trajectories points located close to each other (so-called duplicates). The analyses covered the period of January-March 2010. The results indicated the different origin of air masses in the northern and southern Poland. In Diabla Góra and Gdańsk the distant sources of fine particulate matter emission are identified in Belarus and Russia. In Katowice the impact of the Belarusian PM2.5 emission sources was also noted but as the most important fine particulate matter emission sources were considered those located in the area of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine.
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Abstract

Thirteen fractions of ambient dust were investigated in Zabrze, a typical urban area in the central part of Upper Silesia (Poland), during a heating season. Fifteen PAH and Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, As, Se, Cd, Pb contents of each fraction were determined. The dust was sampled with use of a cascade impactor and chemically analyzed with an energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (PANalytical Epsilon 5) and a gas chromatograph with a flame ionisation detector (Perkin Elmer Clarus 500). The concentrations of PM1 and the PM1-related PAH and elements were much higher than the ones of the coarse dust (PM2.5-10) and the substances contained in it. The concentrations of total PAH and carcinogenic PAH were very high (the concentrations of PM1-, PM2.5-, and PM10-related BaP were 16.08, 19.19, 19.32 ng m-3, respectively). The municipal emission, resulted mainly from hard coal combustion processes, appeared to be the main factor affecting the air quality in Zabrze in winter.
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Abstract

Background: Air pollution is a severe problem in Poland, with Kraków area being among the regions with the worse air quality. Viral croup or pseudocroup is a common childhood disease that may manifest with severe upper respiratory tract obstruction. Our aim was to evaluate the associations between incidence and severity of viral croup symptoms among children living in Kraków area, Poland, and air pollution. Methods: Th e retrospective cross-sectional study included Kraków area residents <18 years of age admitted to the Emergency Department of St. Louis Children Hospital in Kraków, Poland over 2-year period. Daily mean concentrations of air pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitric oxides (NOx), carbon oxide (CO), sulfur dioxide, ozone, and benzene were retrieved from public database of measurements performed at three local stations. Numbers of cases of viral croup per week were correlated with weekly mean concentrations of air pollutants. Mean air temperature was treated as a cofactor. Results: During the studied period, mean concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, and NOx exceeded the allowable levels (yearly means) specifi ed by Polish law regulations. Signifi cant positive correlations of moderate strength were observed between weekly mean concentrations of most air pollutants, especially PM10, PM2.5, CO and benzene, and numbers of cases of viral croup recorded per week, confi rmed in the analysis restricted to non-holiday period and to winter months only. Th e correlations between NOx, CO, benzene and croup prevalence were independent of temperature in non-holiday period. Conclusions: Our results support adverse impact of air pollution on children’s respiratory health.
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Abstract

Concentrations and elemental composition of fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM2.5-10) ambient particles, at two sampling points located at the same urban background sites, were investigated. The points were 20 m distant from each other and at various heights (2 and 6 m) above the ground. A dichotomous sampler, equipped with a virtual impactor, and a cascade impactor were used to sample the dust. An X-ray fluorescence spectrometer was used in the elemental analyses. The investigations revealed heterogeneity of the spatial distribution and the elemental composition of suspended dust at the investigated urban background site. Coarse dust, whose concentration at 2.0 m above the ground was affected by secondary emission from roads, soil and other local low-level sources in some periods, appeared more heterogeneous.
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