|A Study of Particulate Matter Pollutants in the Canberra Air shed, including Total Suspended particles, PM10, Lead and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.|
|University of Canberra|
Methods for the determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with suspended particulate matter were developed with the aim of determining airborne concentrations and to investigate seasonal trends. Other associated pollutants such as Total Suspended Particulate matter (TSP), Particulate Matter with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter less than 10 micrometres (PM10) and lead concentration were also reviewed to determine trends. Motor vehicle emissions appear to be the primary source of the PAHs and differences between the types and concentrations of PAHs detected at central business district sites versus suburban sites were noted. Wind erosion, biomass burning, motor vehicle emissions and industrial processes are sources of particulate matter in the atmosphere. Lead comes mainly from motor vehicle emissions in the ACT with some lead possibly from the burning of lead contaminated fuel. TSP and lead concentrations have decreased since air quality monitoring began in the early 1980s. PM10 concentration may also have fallen but the data set for PM10 is too small to draw any firm conclusions. Only TSP lead concentrations displayed a seasonal pattern. The ACT air pollution Act 1984 has placed restriction on the burning of fuels to improve air quality in the ACT. The air quality with regards to TSP and lead is improving. However, the only strong links between the Act and decreased pollutant concentrations is the introduction of unleaded petrol and the decrease of airborne lead concentrations.
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