Characterizing Mineral Dusts and Other Aerosols from the Middle East – Part 2: Grab Samples and Re-Suspensions

Publication Information:

Engelbrecht, J.P., E.V. McDonald, J.A. Gillies, R.K.M. Jayanty, G.S. Casuccio and A.W. Gertler, “Characterizing Mineral Dusts and Other Aerosols from the Middle East – Part 2: Grab Samples and Re-Suspensions”, Inhalation Toxicology, Vol. 21(4), pp. 327 – 336, 2009. DOI: 10.1080/08958370802464299

Year: 2009

The purpose of the Enhanced Particulate Matter Surveillance Program was to provide scientifically founded information on the chemical and physical properties of dust collected during a period of approximately 1 year in Djibouti, Afghanistan (Bagram, Khowst), Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq (Balad, Baghdad, Tallil, Tikrit, Taji, Al Asad), and Kuwait (northern, central, coastal, and southern regions). To fully understand mineral dusts, their chemical and physical properties, as well as mineralogical inter-relationships, were accurately established. In addition to the ambient samples, bulk soil samples were collected at each of the 15 sites. In each case, approximately 1 kg of soil from the top 10 mm at a previously undisturbed area near the aerosol sampling site was collected. The samples were air-dried and sample splits taken for soil analysis. Further sample splits were sieved to separate the < 38 micro m particle fractions for mineralogical analysis. Examples of major-element and trace-element chemistry, mineralogy, and other physical properties of the 15 grab samples are presented. The purpose of the trace-element analysis was to measure levels of potentially harmful metals while the major-element and ion-chemistry analyses provided an estimate of mineral components. X-ray diffractometry provided a measure of the mineral content of the dust. Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy was used to analyze chemical composition of small individual particles. From similarities in the chemistry and mineralogy of re-suspended and ambient sample sets, it is evident that portions of the ambient dust are from local soils.


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