Measured components in total suspended particulate matter in a Kenyan urban area
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Nairobi city has a population of over 1.5 million and is growing at a rate of about 70 persons per day. Various activities in the city such as construction work, industrial processes, use of unroadworthy cars, and dust blown off unpaved roads contribute enormously to suspended particulate matter in the air. In this paper, analysis by gravimetric and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) of the suspended particulate matter in the air in the city centre, an industrial area and one residential area was carried out. The total suspended particulate matter (TSP) mean levels ranged from 69.983 to 397.903 μg m−3. The following components were measured from the TSP, mean values in μg m−3: iron 6.014–7.547, potassium 1.252–6.432, titanium 0.286–1.698, manganese 0.158–1.683, lead 0.395–1.321, bromine 0.122–0.707, zinc 0.159–0.678 and zirconium 0.017–0.245. The values of lead obtained (0.395–1.321 μg m−3) fall within the WHO recommendations, but compared to the values reported in some European countries, they are high. Most of the elements had low enrichment factors except for lead (104–353), bromine (429–1533) and zinc (14–79). Bromine and lead were highly correlated to the number of light vehicles (p=0.874 and 0.942, respectively). In addition the ratio of Br:Pb by weight was in the range 0.309–0.535, while the correlation factor for Br:Pb was 0.951, leading to the conclusion that both elements came from leaded gasoline.