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Keuken M.P.,TNO | Moerman M.,TNO | Voogt M.,TNO | Blom M.,Energy Research Center of the Netherlands | And 3 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2013

The contribution of regional, urban and traffic sources to PM2.5 and PM10 in an urban area was investigated in this study. The chemical composition of PM2.5 and PM10 was measured over a year at a street location and up- and down-wind of the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The 14C content in EC and OC concentrations was also determined, to distinguish the contribution from "modern" carbon (e.g., biogenic emissions, biomass burning and wildfires) and fossil fuel combustion. It was concluded that the urban background of PM2.5 and PM10 is dominated by the regional background, and that primary and secondary PM emission by urban sources contribute less than 15%. The 14C analysis revealed that 70% of OC originates from modern carbon and 30% from fossil fuel combustion. The corresponding percentages for EC are, respectively 17% and 83%. It is concluded that in particular the urban population living in street canyons with intense road traffic has potential health risks. This is due to exposure to elevated concentrations of a factor two for EC from exhaust emissions in PM2.5 and a factor 2-3 for heavy metals from brake and tyre wear, and re-suspended road dust in PM10. It follows that local air quality management may focus on local measures to street canyons with intense road traffic. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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