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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

Volume: 18 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 1148-1161
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.


The composition of atmospheric particulate matter (PM10) can help to identify its potential sources and possible impact on human health. This study investigates the seasonal variations and sources of heavy metals in PM10 in the Cheras area. PM10 samples were collected on a 24-h basis using a high-volume air sampler in June during the southwest monsoon and in December during the northeast monsoon of 2014. Selected hazardous trace metals, viz., 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 during the southwest and northeast monsoons, respectively. The heavy metal concentrations during the southwest monsoon followed the order Ba > Fe > Cu > V > Zn > Pb > Mn > Cr > As > Ni > Cd > Co, while those during the northeast monsoon followed the order Zn > Fe > Ba > Cu > Pb > V > Cr > As > Mn > Ni > Cd > Co. The results of the enrichment factors (EFs) showed that the major trace metals mainly originated from anthropogenic sources. A correlation analysis indicated that pairs of trace metals from similar sources were suspended in PM10 in the ambient air. The source apportionment by principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) suggested that vehicle exhaust and brake and tire wear, industrial emissions and the re-suspension of 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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