Sudhanshu Kumar1,2,3, Shankar Gopala Aggarwal 1,2, Bighnaraj Sarangi1,2, Julien Malherbe3, Julien P.G. Barre3, Sylvain Berail3, Fabienne Séby3, Olivier F.X. Donard3

Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), CSIR-National Physical Laboratory Campus, New Delhi 110012, India
Environment Sciences and Biomedical Metrology Division, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi 110012, India
Laboratoire de Chimie-Analytique Bio-Inorganique et Environnement, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, CNRS UMR 5254, Hélioparc, 64053 Pau, France

Received: December 16, 2017
Revised: March 25, 2018
Accepted: March 30, 2018
Download Citation: ||  

  • Download: PDF

Cite this article:
Kumar, S., Aggarwal, S.G., Sarangi, B., Malherbe, J., Barre, J.P., Berail, S., Séby, F. and Donard, O.F. (2018). Understanding the Influence of Open-waste Burning on Urban Aerosols using Metal Tracers and Lead Isotopic Composition. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 18: 2433-2446.


  • High aerosol mass loading in fine mode from open-waste burning (OWB) practices.
  • Metals emitted from OWB are high in concentration, similar to urban winter aerosols.
  • Cr(VI) concentrations in OWB aerosols are higher than urban background aerosols.
  • First Pb isotope signatures in OWB aerosols and compared to the New Delhi aerosols.
  • Pb isotope analysis suggests a prominent contribution of OWB to urban aerosols.


Open-waste burning (OWB) is one of the primary sources of urban aerosols in several developing countries. To better understand the influence of OWB emissions on urban aerosols, total suspended particles (TSP) and size-segregated samples were collected at an open-waste burning site (the Okhla landfill) and two urban sites in New Delhi. The TSP samples were analysed for selected metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, V and Zn) using ICP-MS. In general, among the metals, Fe and Zn were mostly dominant, and As, Cd and Se were found in trace concentrations in the majority of the samples. Additionally, Pb concentrations were ~5–8 fold higher in urban wintertime samples than other samples. Tin, a tracer for waste-burning aerosols, ranged between 0.055 and 0.675 µg m–3 in OWB aerosols. Interestingly, the concentration of Sn was significantly high in the urban wintertime aerosols, specifically, 0.082–0.284 µg m–3. Tin also showed a high enrichment factor in the urban wintertime aerosols, suggesting its anthropogenic origin, possibly because of enhanced OWB practices in winter. Waste burning was also found to be one of the primary sources of chromium, which ranged between 0.102 and 0.606 µg m–3 in OWB aerosols and between 0.114 and 0.574 µg m–3 in urban aerosols. Since Cr(VI) is of interest due to its impact on health, the soluble Cr(VI) concentration was determined and found to be 6.12–10.2 ng m–3 (~1–6% of the total Cr in OWB aerosols compared to 0.33–0.65 ng m–3 [< 1% of the total Cr]) in urban aerosols. The lead isotopic signatures of OWB aerosols, viz., the 208Pb/206Pb and 206Pb/207Pb ratios, were determined to be 2.1309 ± 0.0029 and 1.1316 ± 0.0035, whereas those of the urban aerosols were 2.1369 ± 0.0026 and 1.1243 ± 0.0024, respectively. However, the ranges of these values among the different aerosol types were not very distinct and showed discreet overlaps. This Pb isotopic study, along with metal fingerprints, suggests the increased influence of OWB emissions in winter on New Delhi aerosols.

Keywords: Open waste burning emissions; Metal signatures; Chromium(VI); Lead isotope.


Share this article with your colleagues 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

77st percentile
Powered by
   SCImago Journal & Country Rank

2022 Impact Factor: 4.0
5-Year Impact Factor: 3.4

Aerosol and Air Quality Research partners with Publons

CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit
CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal that promotes submissions of high-quality research and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world. We use cookies on this website to personalize content to improve your user experience and analyze our traffic. By using this site you agree to its use of cookies.