Trace elements in atmospheric particulate matter over a coal burning power production area of western Macedonia, Greece.Chemosphere. 2006 Dec; 65(11):2233-43.C
Total suspended particle (TSP) concentrations were determined in the Eordea basin (western Macedonia, Greece), an area with intensive lignite burning for power generation. The study was conducted over a one-year period (November 2000-November 2001) at 10 sites located at variable distances from the power plants. Ambient TSP samples were analyzed for 27 major, minor and trace elements. Annual means of TSP concentrations ranged between 47+/-33 microg m(-3) and 110+/-50 microg m(-3) at 9 out of the 10 sites. Only the site closest to the power stations and the lignite conveyor belts exhibited annual TSP levels (210+/-97 microg m(-3)) exceeding the European standard (150 microg m(-3), 80/779/EEC). Concentrations of TSP and almost all elemental components exhibited significant spatial variations; however, the elemental profiles of TSP were quite similar among all sites suggesting that they are affected by similar source types. At all sites, statistical analysis indicated insignificant (P<0.05) seasonal variation for TSP concentrations. Some elements (Cl, As, Pb, Br, Se, S, Cd) exhibited significantly higher concentrations at certain sites during the cold period suggesting more intense emissions from traffic, domestic heating and other combustion sources. On the contrary, concentrations significantly higher in the warm period were found at other sites mainly for crustal elements (Ti, Mn, K, P, Cr, etc.) suggesting stronger influence from soil resuspension and/or fly ash in the warm months. The most enriched elements against local soil or road dust were S, Cl, Cu, As, Se, Br, Cd and Pb, whereas negligible enrichment was found for Ti, Mn, Mg, Al, Si, P, Cr. At most sites, highest concentrations of TSP and elemental components were associated with low- to moderate-speed winds favoring accumulation of emissions from local sources. Influences from the power generation were likely at those sites located closest to the power plants and mining activities.