Environ Geochem Health 2019 Dec 3;41(6):2533-2548. Epub 2019 May 3.
Environmental Science Center (ESC), Qatar University, H10-Zone 3-B113, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar.
Elemental composition of airborne dust samples retained by internal filters of air condition units (ACUs) was determined at 12 locations of Doha city, state of Qatar. Twenty-four elements: Al, Ca, Mg, Fe, Na, K, Ti, Zn, P, Sr, Mn, Ba, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, V, Mo, Li, Co, Sb, As, Cd, Be, were analysed by ICP-OES technique after acid digestion of the samples. The analysed components reflect 20.6% of the total sample mass. Similar or lower concentration values have been found for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, Zn, Al, and Fe compared to the international context of upper crust concentrations, NIST SRM (urban dust), published local dust information of outdoor, and surface terrestrial deposit (STD) counted for 7.2, 0.7, 91.8, 192.8, 369.7, 68.6, 65.3, 52.1, 824.3, 19,791, 20,508 mg/kg, respectively. The coefficient of correlation (p ≤ 0.05) showed significant association of ACUs dust elemental compositions with the main components of the local earth crust and surface deposits, ranging from the lowest 0.77 (Mg-Fe) to the highest 0.98 (Al-Fe), while Ni and V, typical anthropogenic pollutants, are also strongly correlated (0.86). These strong correlation relationships can be interpreted as the contribution of outdoor particulate to the indoor dust. Dendrogram of metal/Al ratios, based on Euclidean distance calculation and average linkage clustering method, distinguished three typical groups. Studying the enrichment factors of the three groups indicated elevated levels of Zn (131), Pb (49), Cu (32), Cd (8) and Ni (5) found indoors compared to the background composition of STD especially at locations in the industrial zone. The major elemental composition of the samples reflects the typical mineral composition of the local dust, while the trace composition demonstrates the influence of indoor sources. The collected ACU filter dust samples show significant contribution of outdoor mineral particles, non-exhaust traffic emission, industrial sources, as well as the influence of indoor activity such as smoking.