Title

Chemical and Forensic Analyses of Road Dust Particles in Windsor, Ontario: Significance to Human Health

Type of Proposal

Oral Presentation

Start Date

23-3-2018 12:40 PM

End Date

23-3-2018 2:00 PM

Location

Alumni Auditorium A

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Prof. Alice Grgicak-Mannion

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Windsor, Ontario has been identified as an Area of Concern by the International Joint Commission due to poor air quality, which is mostly due to heavy vehicular and industrial pollution sources both from within the city and across the border. Previously, environmental pollutants have been collected using passive and active air monitoring systems at two National Air Pollution Surveillance sites located in west Windsor, but these fail to capture local pollution variation within the city. Pollutant data has been quantified using techniques such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), which fail to assess physical characteristics of pollution such as size, which is important as smaller particles are absorbed deep into lung tissue and pose a more serious health threat. To help fill in the gaps in research regarding local variation and physical characteristics of pollution, in 2016 this study sampled road dust from 50 sites across Windsor and analyzed it using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Microsoft Excel was used to generate descriptive statistics within and across sites, and a geographic information system (ArcGIS) was used to visualize the distribution of both physical and chemical characteristics of Mg, Se, Sr, Al, Pb, Ba, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Hg and As pollutants across the city. Results showed that there were distinct variations in size, shape and composition of pollutants between sites. 65% of particles were size PM2.5um, while 30% were PM10um, which are both small enough to be absorbed into the lungs. Compared to the rest of Ontario, in 2015 Windsor West had the highest 24-hour PM2.5 levels and the second highest annual mean PM2.5 levels behind Hamilton. Of the particles analyzed in Windsor, Al, Fe, Hg and As occurred at the highest rates. Notably, two sites had elevated levels of both mercury and iron in particles: 75% of all fine (2.5um) mercury-based and 46% of all fine iron-based particles analyzed were found at an east Windsor site, while 22% of all mercury-based and 34% of all iron-based particles were found near the University of Windsor. This variation in size and chemical characteristics of particles across sample sites indicate that the sources of pollution at each may be different, which may be useful in addressing health concerns limited to localized areas within the city.

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Mar 23rd, 12:40 PM Mar 23rd, 2:00 PM

Chemical and Forensic Analyses of Road Dust Particles in Windsor, Ontario: Significance to Human Health

Alumni Auditorium A

Windsor, Ontario has been identified as an Area of Concern by the International Joint Commission due to poor air quality, which is mostly due to heavy vehicular and industrial pollution sources both from within the city and across the border. Previously, environmental pollutants have been collected using passive and active air monitoring systems at two National Air Pollution Surveillance sites located in west Windsor, but these fail to capture local pollution variation within the city. Pollutant data has been quantified using techniques such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), which fail to assess physical characteristics of pollution such as size, which is important as smaller particles are absorbed deep into lung tissue and pose a more serious health threat. To help fill in the gaps in research regarding local variation and physical characteristics of pollution, in 2016 this study sampled road dust from 50 sites across Windsor and analyzed it using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Microsoft Excel was used to generate descriptive statistics within and across sites, and a geographic information system (ArcGIS) was used to visualize the distribution of both physical and chemical characteristics of Mg, Se, Sr, Al, Pb, Ba, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Hg and As pollutants across the city. Results showed that there were distinct variations in size, shape and composition of pollutants between sites. 65% of particles were size PM2.5um, while 30% were PM10um, which are both small enough to be absorbed into the lungs. Compared to the rest of Ontario, in 2015 Windsor West had the highest 24-hour PM2.5 levels and the second highest annual mean PM2.5 levels behind Hamilton. Of the particles analyzed in Windsor, Al, Fe, Hg and As occurred at the highest rates. Notably, two sites had elevated levels of both mercury and iron in particles: 75% of all fine (2.5um) mercury-based and 46% of all fine iron-based particles analyzed were found at an east Windsor site, while 22% of all mercury-based and 34% of all iron-based particles were found near the University of Windsor. This variation in size and chemical characteristics of particles across sample sites indicate that the sources of pollution at each may be different, which may be useful in addressing health concerns limited to localized areas within the city.