Determination of heavy metal pollutions in the atmospheric falling dust by multivariate analysis

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Natural Resources & Desert studies, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


The purpose of this study was to assess some heavy metal (HM) concentrations in the soil and atmospheric falling dust along the Yazd highway, Yazd Province, Iran. The total concentrations of cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), nickle (Ni), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) in the dust and soil samples were measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry after digestion with acid. The relationship between HMs in the falling dust was determined using correlation coefficients, principal component analysis and cluster analysis.  The mean concentrations of HMs in falling dust were higher than those of the nearby soils, except for Fe, Pb and Zn. The highest correlation between HMs in the falling dust and soil was associated with Cd and Fe as well as Cd and Ni with the correlation coefficients of 0.81 and 0.97, respectively. Based on the principle component analysis, cluster analysis and correlation coefficients, two resources were identified for HM concentrations in the falling dust. The measurement of enrichment factor exhibited that the region dust infiltration of metals on Mn (13.46), Zn (8.16) and Cu (5.21) are grouped in the severe enrichment class. Increasing industrialization and human activities lead to enter intensified levels of HMs into atmosphere. So, implementation of environmental standards and improvement of public transportation are necessary to reduce the level of pollutants entering the atmosphere.


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