Assessment of heavy metals emission from traffic on road surfaces

Sudip Pal 1 , Steve Wallis 1 , and Scott Arthur 1
  • 1 Heriot-Watt University

Abstract

This study aims to analyse RDS heavy metal concentrations on road deposited sediment (RDS) using Riccarton Campus of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland as a study site. RDS samples were collected at two transverse positions from different sites over a 4 month period in order to describe the influence of traffic on heavy metal emissions. The heavy metal concentrations of the RDS were determined by strong nitric acid digestion and atomic absorption spectrometry. The mean concentrations for Zn, Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and Fe were found to be 213, 57, 1, 16, 15, 118, and 13497 mg kg-1 from samples near to the curb and 211, 79, 2, 15, 9, 35, and 14276 mg kg−1 from samples 1 m from the curb respectively. Furthermore for both positions the highest concentrations for all metals were associated with the finer fraction (<63 µm) and stronger correlations between the metals were found further from the curb than near the curb, indicating that metals accumulating on the road surface further from the curb may likely be from the same source (traffic), while the sources of metals near the curb are more diverse.

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