Isotopic signatures and source apportionment of Pb in ambient PM2.5

Chien Cheng Jung, Charles C.K. Chou, Yi Tang Huang, Shih Yu Chang, Chung Te Lee, Chuan Yao Lin, Hing Cho Cheung, Wei Chen Kuo, Chih Wei Chang, Shuenn Chin Chang

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Particulate lead (Pb) is a primary air pollutant that affects society because of its health impacts. This study investigates the source sectors of Pb associated with ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) over central-western Taiwan (CWT) with new constraints on the Pb-isotopic composition. We demonstrate that the contribution of coal-fired facilities is overwhelming, which is estimated to reach 35 ± 16% in the summertime and is enhanced to 57 ± 24% during the winter monsoon seasons. Moreover, fossil-fuel vehicles remain a major source of atmospheric Pb, which accounts for 12 ± 5%, despite the current absence of a leaded gasoline supply. Significant seasonal and geographical variations in the Pb-isotopic composition are revealed, which suggest that the impact of East Asian (EA) pollution outflows is important in north CWT and drastically declines toward the south. We estimate the average contribution of EA outflows as accounting for 35 ± 15% (3.6 ± 1.5 ng/m3) of the atmospheric Pb loading in CWT during the winter monsoon seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4343
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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