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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 985; doi:10.3390/ijerph13100985

Characterization of Airborne Particles Collected from Car Engine Air Filters Using SEM and EDX Techniques

Physiology and Pharmacology Department, Center of Basic Sciences, Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 20931, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael S. Breen
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 1 October 2016
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Abstract

Particulate matter accumulated on car engine air-filters (CAFs) was examined in order to investigate the potential use of these devices as efficient samplers for collecting street level air that people are exposed to. The morphology, microstructure, and chemical composition of a variety of particles were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX). The particulate matter accumulated by the CAFs was studied in two categories; the first was of removed particles by friction, and the second consisted of particles retained on the filters. Larger particles with a diameter of 74–10 µm were observed in the first category. In the second one, the detected particles had a diameter between 16 and 0.7 µm. These particles exhibited different morphologies and composition, indicating mostly a soil origin. The elemental composition revealed the presence of three groups: mineral (clay and asphalt), metallic (mainly Fe), and biological particles (vegetal and animal debris). The palynological analysis showed the presence of pollen grains associated with urban plants. These results suggest that CAFs capture a mixture of atmospheric particles, which can be analyzed in order to monitor urban air. Thus, the continuous availability of large numbers of filters and the retroactivity associated to the car routes suggest that these CAFs are very useful for studying the high traffic zones within a city. View Full-Text
Keywords: particle; pollen; SEM microscopy; car air filter particle; pollen; SEM microscopy; car air filter
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heredia Rivera, B.; Gerardo Rodriguez, M. Characterization of Airborne Particles Collected from Car Engine Air Filters Using SEM and EDX Techniques. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 985.

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