Multi-scale analysis of the occurrence of Pb, Cr and Mn in the NIST standards: Urban dust (SRM 1649a) and indoor dust (SRM 2584)

Mingyu Jiang, Yuki Nakamatsu, Keld A. Jensen, Satoshi Utsunomiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Adverse health effects of ambient particulate matters are closely related to the speciation of the constituting organic matters and toxic metals. To determine multi-parameters of the metal speciation in urban and indoor dusts, we have performed systematic bulk- to nano-scale ("multi-scale") analysis on the speciation of Pb, Mn, and Cr in two National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard reference materials (SRMs): urban dust (SRM 1649a) and indoor dust (SRM 2584), utilizing X-ray absorption near-edge structure, powder X-ray diffraction analysis, electron microprobe analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy.Major crystalline phases are quartz, gypsum, kaolinite, and muscovite in SRM 1649a, while quartz, gypsum, calcite, and possibly muscovite (or chabazite) in SRM 2584. A number of Pb sulfate nanoparticles (50-200nm) occur in SRM 1649a, whereas micron-sized Pb carbonate is present containing various concentrations of Zn and Ti in the complex texture in SRM 2584. Relatively soluble Mn(II) sulfate is the bulk-averaged Mn speciation in SRM 1649a, although discrete Mn sulfate particles are not characterized by individual particle analysis, implying the diluted Mn distribution within other sulfate. In SRM 2584, Mn speciation includes a mixture of oxides and carbonates, and trace Mn in chromite. Chromite (FeCr2O4) is the major Cr speciation in SRM1694a, while unidentified Cr(III) phases with minor chromite and Pb chromate are present in SRM 2584, among which the Pb chromate is composed of Cr(VI). A significant number of the metal-bearing particles are distributed to the submicron-size fraction in the urban dust, SRM 1649a, suggesting that these metal nanoparticles can potentially penetrate into the deep respiratory system. This study demonstrates that multi-scale analysis combining nano and bulk analytical techniques is a powerful approach to investigate the multi-parameters of metal-bearing nanoparticles in heterogeneous PM samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-374
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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