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Neutron Activation Analysis of Atmospheric Aerosols from a Small Pacific Island Country: A Case of Suva, Fiji Islands

Category: Articles

Volume: 7 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 500-517
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2007.05.0028
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Sitaram Garimella , Ravin N. Deo

  • Physics Division, School of Engineering and Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the South Pacific, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji Islands

Abstract

A systematic study was developed to investigate the quality of air in Suva, the capital city of Fiji Islands. This is the first work of its kind in the South Pacific Islands and was aimed at characterizing the elemental abundances in total suspended particulate (TSP) matter in Suva’s air. Aerosol samples were collected from 11 locations in Suva during the period 2000–2003 using a high-volume sampler. Concentrations of some heavy metals and other trace elements in these atmospheric aerosols were investigated by neutron activation analysis and gamma spectrometry. Concentrations of total suspended particulates for residential, traffic and industrial areas were found to be in the range 9-43, 20-58 and 33-91 μg/m3, respectively. The elements sodium, iron and zinc have been observed in relatively higher concentrations than other elements. Moreover, calculated enrichment factors for some elements (such as arsenic, bromine, cobalt, chromium and antimony) reveal possible anthropogenic inputs into air mainly through automobile exhaust emissions.

Keywords

Suva Air Suspended particulates HPGe spectrometer


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