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Air pollution components in Perth

Lax, F., Robertson, W.A. and Garkaklis, V. (1986) Air pollution components in Perth. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 69 (1). pp. 19-27.

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High volume dust sampling, S02, NOx, and fine particle mass concentration (FPMC) measurements were performed at 23 sites around the city of Perth. The dust samples were analysed by atomic absorption techniques for the elements Ca, Cu, Pb, and Zn; flame photometry was used for Na and K. The emissions from possible sources of pollution, such as petrol engines, coal furnaces, hospital incinerators, cement works and bush fires were analyzed for the same elements. Results show that the strong lead (Pb) peak in the city centre is related to high density car traffic, as the combustion of petrol is the dominant source of lead. The levels for S02 and NOx were generally low but showed some increase in the central business district. Comparatively higher calcium peaks in the south west and north west of the area may be associated with cement works and brickworks respectively.

The concentrations did not reach levels considered as being harmful to man and his environment, but meteorological patterns and traffic conditions in Perth indicate that it is necessary to monitor the contamination in the air now. This would enable appropriate controls to be developed for implementation before the effects resulting from a growing population push pollution to unacceptable levels.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Royal Society of Western Australia
Copyright: © Royal Society of Western Australia
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