Chemical speciation of PM2.5 and PM10 in South Phoenix, AZ

Nabin Upadhyay, Andrea Clements, Matthew Fraser, Pierre Herckes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Phoenix, AZ, experiences high particulate matter (PM) episodes, especially in the wintertime. The spatial variation of the PM concentrations and resulting differences in exposure is of particular concern. In this study, PM2.5 (PM with aerodynamic diameter >2.5 μm) and PM10 (PM with aerodynamic diameter >10 μm) samples were collected simultaneously from the east and west sides of South Phoenix and at a control site in Tempe and analyzed for trace elements and bulk elemental and organic carbon. Measurements showed that although PM2.5 concentrations had similar trends in temporal scale across all sites, concentrations of PM10 did not. The difference in PM10 concentrations and fluctuation across the three sites suggest effects of a local soil source as evidenced by high concentrations of Al, Ca, and Fe in PM10. K and anthropogenic elements (e.g., Cu, Pb, and Zn) in PM2.5 samples on January 1 were strikingly high, suggesting the influence of New Year's fireworks. Concentrations of toxic elements (e.g., Pb) in the study presented here are not different from similar studies in other U.S. cities. Application of principal component analysis indicated two broad categories of emission sources-soil and combustion- together accounting for 80 and 90% of variance, respectively, in PM2.5 and PM10. The soil and combustion components explained approximately 60 and 30% of the variance in PM10, respectively, whereas combustion sources dominated PM2.5 (>50% variance). Many elements associated with anthropogenic sources were highly enriched, with enrichment factors in PM2.5 an order of magnitude higher than in PM10 relative to surface soil composition in the study area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-310
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical speciation of PM2.5 and PM10 in South Phoenix, AZ'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this