Study: Atmospheric environmental

Using metal ratios to detect emissions from municipal waste incinerators in ambient air pollution data

(Anna Font a, *, Kees de Hoogh b, c, d, Maria Leal-Sanchez d, Danielle C. Ashworth e, Richard J.C. Brown f, Anna L. Hansell d, g, Gary W. Fuller a a Environmental Research Group, MRC PHE Centre for Environment and Health, King's College London,)

This study aimed to fingerprint emissions from six municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) and then test if these fingerprint ratios could be found in ambient air samples. Stack emissions tests from MWIs comprised As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Mn, Ni, V and Hg. Those pairs of metals showing good correlation (R > 0.75) were taken as tracers of MWI emissions and ratios calculated: Cu/Pb; Cd/Pb; Cd/Cu and Cr/Pb. Emissions ratios from MWIs differed significantly from those in ambient rural locations and those close to traffic. In order to identify MWI emissions in ambient air two analysis tests were carried out.

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