Contrasting the size-resolved nature of particulate arsenic, cadmium, and lead among diverse regions

Marisa E. Gonzalez, Connor Stahl, Melliza Templonuevo Cruz, Paola Angela Bañaga, Grace Betito, Rachel A. Braun, Mojtaba Azadi Aghdam, Maria Obiminda Cambaliza, Genevieve Rose Lorenzo, Alexander B. MacDonald, James Bernard Simpas, Janae Csavina, A. Eduardo Sáez, Eric Betterton, Armin Sorooshian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examines the mass size distributions and crustal enrichment factors (EFs) of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) for diverse regions: coastal marine (Marina, California), arid mining facility (Hayden, Arizona), arid urban (Tucson, Arizona), free troposphere (Mt. Lemmon, Arizona), and coastal urban (Manila, Philippines). Micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI) measurements revealed several notable features. All sites showed a bimodal profile with a peak in the submicrometer and supermicrometer diameter range except for Manila, which peculiarly lacked a peak above 1 μm. Enrichment factor analysis revealed contaminated dust at all sites, even the free tropospheric site, with greater contamination in the submicrometer range. The most extensive dataset in Manila allowed for seasonal analysis, which revealed differences among the same species based on seasonally-dependent transport patterns. Sites experiencing biomass burning influence (Manila and Marina) generally exhibited suppressed concentrations and crustal EFs during burning periods presumably because soil emitted from fires is fresh without extensive processing time to become contaminated. These results have important implications for a variety of aerosol effects dependent on aerosol size (e.g., public health, biogeochemical cycling, heterogeneous chemistry) and underscore the importance of accounting for the coarse aerosol mode as more dust emissions are expected in warmer climate scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Pollution Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Aerosol
  • CAMPEx
  • Lead
  • Particulate matter
  • Size distribution
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science


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