Atmospheric pollution is an important task in life sciences and, in particular, inorganic fraction characterization is considered as an important issue in this field. For many years, researchers have focused their attention on the particulate matter fraction below 10 μm: in this case, our attention was also focused on PM2.5 (i.e., particles with a size fraction smaller than 2.5 μm) and PM1 (below 1 μm). This paper would like to investigate whether the element accumulation in different granulometric fractions is similar, or whether there are behavior dissimilarities. Among the different analytical techniques, the instrumental neutron activation analysis, an instrumental nuclear method, was used for its peculiarity of investigating the sample without performing any chemical-physical treatment. Forty-two daily samples using the reference method were collected, 15 filters for PM10, 18 for PM2.5, and 12 for PM1; the filters, along with primary standards and appropriate standard reference materials, were irradiated at the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) R.C.-Casaccia's Triga MARK II reactor. The irradiations carried out in the Rabbit and Lazy Susan channels allowed for the investigation of 36 elements and the relative Pearson's correlations between elements and PM-fractions (PM10 vs. PM2.5 was good, whereas PM10 vs. PM1 was the worst). The Enrichment Factors were studied for the three fractions to show how anthropogenic sources have affected the element content. A comparison between these data and element levels determined worldwide showed that our concentrations were lower than those determined in similar scenarios. Furthermore, a statistical approach (source discrimination, hierarchical cluster analysis, principal component analysis) has allowed us to identify similarities between the samples: the airborne filters can be divided in two main groups (i.e., one made of PM10 and PM2.5 filters and one only of PM1 filters), meaning a different element contribution to this fraction coming from other sources present at the site.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app10072532|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000533356200331|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85083420560|
|Titolo:||Deep inorganic fraction characterization of PM10, PM2.5, AND PM1 in an industrial area located in central italy by means of instrumental neutron activation analysis|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|