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Simultaneous determination of trace heavy metals in ambient aerosols

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Sayed Mortaza Talebi, Mohammad Malekiha
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The simultaneous determination of heavy metals associated with airborne particulate matter in the atmosphere of the city Isfahan (Iran) was performed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) after pre-concentration with sodium diethyldithiocarbamate. The preconcentration procedure developed found instrumental to determine the trace heavy metals associated with ambient aerosols collected at a short sampling period or collected from rural areas where the concentrations of these metals are much less than those in urban areas. Several samples were analyzed by both flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) as a conventional method and the proposed method. The results obtained by the two methods were found in good agreement. The method was applied to the determination of atmospheric level of heavy metals in rural area and also for study of variation in levels of heavy metals in urban atmosphere during the days and nights.