Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 11943-11969, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-11943-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Oct 2017
Particulate pollutants in the Brazilian city of São Paulo: 1-year investigation for the chemical composition and source apportionment
Guilherme Martins Pereira1,4, Kimmo Teinilä2, Danilo Custódio1,3, Aldenor Gomes Santos4,5,6, Huang Xian7, Risto Hillamo2, Célia A. Alves3, Jailson Bittencourt de Andrade4,5,6, Gisele Olímpio da Rocha4,5,6, Prashant Kumar8,9, Rajasekhar Balasubramanian7, Maria de Fátima Andrade10, and Pérola de Castro Vasconcellos1,4 1Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo – SP, 05508-000, Brazil
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
3CESAM & Department of Environment, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal
4INCT for Energy and Environment, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador – BA, 40170-115, Brazil
5CIEnAm, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador – BA, 40170-115, Brazil
6Institute of Chemistry, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador – BA, 40170-115, Brazil
7Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, E1A 07-03, 117576, Singapore
8Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
9Environmental Flow Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
10Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo – SP, 05508-090, Brazil
Abstract. São Paulo in Brazil has relatively relaxed regulations for ambient air pollution standards and often experiences high air pollution levels due to emissions of particulate pollutants from local sources and long-range transport of air masses impacted by biomass burning. In order to evaluate the sources of particulate air pollution and related health risks, a year-round sampling was done at the University of São Paulo campus (20 m a.g.l.), a green area near an important expressway. The sampling was performed for PM2. 5 ( ≤ 2. 5 µm) and PM10 ( ≤  10 µm) in 2014 through intensive (everyday sampling in wintertime) and extensive campaigns (once a week for the whole year) with 24 h of sampling. This year was characterized by having lower average precipitation compared to meteorological data, and high-pollution episodes were observed all year round, with a significant increase in pollution level in the intensive campaign, which was performed during wintertime. Different chemical constituents, such as carbonaceous species, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and derivatives, water-soluble ions, and biomass burning tracers were identified in order to evaluate health risks and to apportion sources. The species such as PAHs, inorganic and organic ions, and monosaccharides were determined using chromatographic techniques and carbonaceous species using thermal-optical analysis. Trace elements were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The risks associated with particulate matter exposure based on PAH concentrations were also assessed, along with indexes such as the benzo[a]pyrene equivalent (BaPE) and lung cancer risk (LCR). High BaPE and LCR were observed in most of the samples, rising to critical values in the wintertime. Also, biomass burning tracers and PAHs were higher in this season, while secondarily formed ions presented low variation throughout the year. Meanwhile, vehicular tracer species were also higher in the intensive campaign, suggesting the influence of lower dispersion conditions in that period. Source apportionment was performed using positive matrix factorization (PMF), which indicated five different factors: road dust, industrial emissions, vehicular exhaust, biomass burning and secondary processes. The results highlighted the contribution of vehicular emissions and the significant input from biomass combustion in wintertime, suggesting that most of the particulate matter is due to local sources, in addition to the influence of pre-harvest sugarcane burning.

Citation: Pereira, G. M., Teinilä, K., Custódio, D., Gomes Santos, A., Xian, H., Hillamo, R., Alves, C. A., Bittencourt de Andrade, J., Olímpio da Rocha, G., Kumar, P., Balasubramanian, R., Andrade, M. D. F., and de Castro Vasconcellos, P.: Particulate pollutants in the Brazilian city of São Paulo: 1-year investigation for the chemical composition and source apportionment, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 11943-11969, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-11943-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
São Paulo, Brazil, has relatively relaxed regulations for ambient air pollution standards and often presents high air pollution levels due to emissions of airborne particles from local sources and long-range transport of biomass burning smoke. High risks associated with particulate matter exposure were observed in most samples. The results highlighted the contribution of vehicular emissions and the significant input from biomass combustion in the dry season.
São Paulo, Brazil, has relatively relaxed regulations for ambient air pollution standards and...
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