Biomonitoring of atmospheric heavy metals pollution using dust deposited on date palm leaves in southwestern Iran

Zeinab Naderizadeh, Hossein Khademi, Shamsollah Ayoubi


Heavy metals in dust are causing health problems in humans and other organisms. The main objectives of this study were to determine (1) the concentrations and the sources of heavy metals including Zn, Cu, Pb, Fe, Ni, Cr, Co and Mn, and (2) the contamination levels of metals in the dust of Bushehr (an urban area) and Assaluyeh (an industrial area) located in the province of Bushehr, southwestern Iran. Also, the transect between the two cities was investigated as a non-urban area. Fifty dust samples deposited on date palm leaves and 50 surface soil samples were collected. The mean concentrations of heavy metals in dust from the three areas were found to be higher than those of the nearby soils except for Co in Assaluyeh and Pb in Bushehr. Zn, Cu and Pb concentrations in dust samples from industrial and urban areas were higher than those in samples taken from the non-urban area. The results indicated minimal pollution levels of Mn, Fe and Cr, minimal to moderate levels of Co, moderate levels of Ni, moderate to significant levels of Cu, significant levels of Zn, and significant to very high levels of Pb in dust. The two main sources of different heavy metals in atmospheric dust deposited on date palm leaves were identified based on principal component analysis, cluster analysis and correlation analysis. Zn, Cu, and Pb seem to have anthropogenicsources, whereas Fe, Ni, Cr, Co, and Mn in atmospheric dust presumably derive from non-anthropogenic sources.In general, the implementation of environmental standards and improvement of the public transportation system are required to reduce the hazardous pollutants released into the atmosphere.


Heavy metals; dust; palm; anthropogenic sources; pollution

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