Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Particulate Matter (PM10) in the Ambient Air of Selected Roadsides in the Accra Metropolis

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This study assessed the concentrations of heavy metals in particulate matter (PM10) in the ambient air at four roadside locations (Weija, Mallam, Kaneshie First Light and Graphic Road) in the Accra Metropolis. Sampling was carried out every six days for a period of 24 hours from October to November, 2013. The Mini Vol. air sampler was used to collect the PM10 particles from the ambient air. PM10 concentrations ranged from 219.20 - 236.00 μg/m3, 189.80 - 232.20 μg/m3, 150.70 - 182.70 μg/m3 and 158.70 - 213.90 μg/m3 for Weija, Mallam, Kaneshie First Light and Graphic Road respectively. The level of PM10 pollution was very high in the ambient air across the four sampling sites with mean PM10 concentrations exceeding guideline values from WHO and Ghana EPA. A flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) was used to investigate the presence of the following heavy metals: Cu, Mn, Zn, Pb and Cd in the particulate matter. Mean metal concentrations of copper, manganese, zinc, lead and cadmium across the four sampling sites ranged from (0.15 – 0.63 ng/m3), (0.86 - 7.22 ng/m3), (1.79 – 7.34 ng/m3), (0.08 - 0.69 ng/m3), and (0.01 - 0.19 ng/m3) respectively. Results from ANOVA revealed that there was no significant variation between metal concentrations at the various sampling sites except for cadmium which was significantly different. Heavy metal concentrations were found to be very low compared to PM10 which is still a major concern.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science,