The Concentration of Heavy Metals in Precipitated Particles on the Leaves of Street Side Trees in the Urban Environments (Tehran– Iran)

Authors

1 PhD of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch of Tehran Islamic Azad University, Iran

2 PhD of Geology, Environmental and Paleomagnetism Laboratory, Geological and Mineral Exploration of Iran, Tehran

3 Professor, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources, Tarbiat Modarres University, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Tehran University, Iran

5 Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Tehran University, Iran

6 MSc. PhD of Geology, Environmental and Paleomagnetism Laboratory, Geological and Mineral Exploration of Iran, Tehran

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The preset study investigated heavy metals located on the leaves of street side trees in crowded areas of Tehran in order to evaluate the metal pollution caused by cars. Contamination factor, Index of geo-accumulation, enrichment factor, modified degree of contamination, and Pollution load index were used to describe the pollution of the environment and probable sources of metal emissions. The potential ecological risk of exposure to metals in the areas was measured. Leaves are useful and low-cost collectors of aerosols which are produced by transportation. According to the results of the present study, Pb, Cu, Cd, Co, Ni and Zn elements are the main pollutants within the study area; Cr and Hg, also, turned out to produce pollution in the environment. Pb and Cr have probably been emitted from depreciation of vehicles and corrosion of parts and industries; probable origins of Zn and Cu are the industrial combustion sources and alloys of automobile parts. Mn is emitted from anthropogenic sources and further studies are required to identify its emission sources. Mo and V are probably the result of natural sources. The origin of Al, Co and Hg is a combination of natural and man-made sources, with high proportion for man-made activities. Due to high concentrations of Hg and Cr in areas outside and inside the city, further studies are required to find the source of origin of Hg and Cr elements. The ecologic risk of Pb, Cd and Cu was higher in different study areas. The risk of exposure to heavy metals in high density areas, and especially in Geisha, turned out to be high. Traffic of old cars and the traffic flow are effective in the pollution changes in different areas, and decrease in wind speed and direction causes pollution escalation in central areas of Tehran, compared to Western and Northern areas. 

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