Riga-Karandinos A.N., Saitanis C.J., and Arapis G.
Water, Air & Soil Pollution 172:3-20
Publication year: 2006

Abstract

Concentrations of Pt and Pd in roadside top-soil samples, collected in May 2003, at four types of sites (urban, suburban, rural and highway) in the greater Athens area as well as concentrations of Pb, Cu, Zn, Fe and Ca, were determined. Our results show high concentrations of “classic” (Pb, Cu, Zn) and “new” (Pt, Pd) traffic related elements in top-soils on a highway and a representative urban street in Athens. In the highway samples, the average concentrations of Pt and Pd were 141.1 and 125.9 ng/g respectively, while in the urban street samples they were 35% lower. In the samples of the rural and suburban roads the Pt and Pd levels were very low 2.0 and 1.4 ng/g respectively. These data show an increased accumulation of Pt and Pd in top-soils during the last decade as a result of the gradual increase in the use of vehicles with catalytic converters. The Pt:Pd ratios (average: 1.2) were consistent with known catalytic converters composition (1–2.5), suggesting that the common source of these metals is catalytic converters. The levels of the traffic related elements in suburban and rural roads were very low, suggesting the negligible impact from emission sources. Principal component, biplot and cluster analysis discriminated the traffic related metals from Fe, Mn and Ca, which are abundant in soils, related mainly to the soil parent materials.

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