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Seasonal Variations of Atmospheric Particulate Matter and its Content of Heavy Metals in Klang Valley, Malaysia

Category: Aerosol and Atmospheric Chemistry

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.03.0113
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Rasheida E. Elhadi1, Ahmad Makmom Abdullah 1, Abdul Halim Abdullah2, Zulfa Hanan Ash’aari1, Md Firoz Khan3

  • 1 Environmental pollution Control Technology, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Malaysia
  • 3 Centre for Tropical Climate Change System, Institute of Climate Change, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


The mean PM10 concentration was higher in southwest than northeast monsoon.
The major trace metals were significantly high in southwest than northeast monsoon.
A large number of trace metals were from the anthropogenic origin.
Several pairs of metals showed significant correlation during southwest monsoon.
Vehicular exhaust, industrial and oil combustion were the predominant sources.


Composition of atmospheric particulate matter (PM10) can help to identify the potential sources and possible impact on human health. This study investigates the seasonal variations and identifies sources of heavy metals in the atmospheric particulate matter (PM10) in Cheras area. PM10 samples were collected on 24-h basis using a high volume air sampler during June in Southwest and December in Northeast monsoon in 2014. Selected hazardous trace metals i.e., As, Pb, Cu, Ni, Cd, Co, Mn, Zn, Fe, Cr, V and Ba were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The result showed that the mean concentrations of PM10 were 207.63 ± 7.82 and 138.32 ± 4.67 for the Southwest and Northeast monsoon, respectively. The heavy metals concentration during Southwest monsoon followed an order of Ba > Fe > Cu > V > Zn > Pb > Mn > Cr > As > Ni > Cd > Co, while, during the Northeast monsoon were in the order of Zn > Fe > Ba > Cu > Pb > V > Cr > As > Mn > Ni > Cd > Co. The results of enrichment factors (EFs) showed that the major trace metals were mainly originated from the anthropogenic sources. A correlation analysis elucidated that the pairs of trace metals were suspended with PM10 in ambient air from the similar sources. The source apportionment by principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) suggested that vehicles exhaust and non-exhaust (brake and tire wear), industrial emission, re-suspension dust, as well as oil combustion were the most dominant sources of PM10 in this study.


Particulate matter PM10 Heavy metals Seasonal change Enrichment factors Meteorological factors Multivariate modeling

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