Mirosław Skorbiłowicz This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Elżbieta Skorbiłowicz, Wojciech Łapiński

Bialystok University of Technology, Faculty of Building and Environmental Engineering; ul. Wiejska 45E, 15-351 Białystok, Poland


Received: February 3, 2020
Revised: June 2, 2020
Accepted: June 13, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0518  

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Cite this article:

Skorbiłowicz, M., Skorbiłowicz, E. and Łapiński, W. (2020). Assessment of Metallic Content, Pollution, and Sources of Road Dust in the City of Białystok (Poland). Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 2507–2518. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0518


  • Subject of this research refers to metals in road dust in Białystok (Poland).
  • Urban dust fraction is more polluted than highway dust.
  • Amount of metals in dust depended on the main road junctions with high traffic.
  • The Fe and Mn contents were similar to natural ones.


This study used flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) to determine the metallic content in 69 samples of street dust collected in various environments (viz., streets with heavy traffic, streets in residential neighborhoods, and streets near green areas and parks) of Białystok, Poland, during 2018. In descending order of average concentration, the measured metals were Fe (2,335 mg kg1), Zn (68.99 mg kg1), Mn (68.62 mg kg1), Cu (16.37 mg kg1), Pb (11.42 mg kg1), Cr (9.12 mg kg1), and Ni (5.20 mg kg1). Only Zn and Cu exhibited concentrations exceeding the geochemical background levels for Polish soil. We mapped the metallic concentrations in the samples to evaluate the spatial distribution of these elements and identified proximity to main road junctions with high traffic as a major factor. Multivariate statistical analysis (Pearson correlation, cluster analysis, and analysis of major components) revealed an association between vehicle operation, and Zn, Ni, Cu, and Cr, as these elements were found in the most traffic-congested areas. By contrast, Fe and Mn, which were detected in potentially unpolluted areas, displayed concentrations that were similar to natural ones.

Keywords: Metals; Road dust; Identification of pollution sources.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :2507 -2518 . https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0518  

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