The scientific interest in air pollution comes from its influence on human health, the condition of cultural heritage and climate. The PM2.5 fraction (particles of a diameter of 2.5 mm or below), indirectly, has a significant impact on health which is associated with respiratory tract and blood vessel related diseases. However, not only the size, but also the content of the particles has a significant meaning. To determine the particulate matter contents, elemental analysis can be performed using numerous techniques, the most important of which is X-ray fluorescence. In this study, samples of PM2.5 fraction collected in Krakow, Poland were analyzed. The X-ray fluorescence method was used to perform elemental analysis. The gravimetric method was applied to determine the concentration of the PM2.5 fraction. Low detection limits of individual elements and precision of the X-ray fluorescence method were determined. The concentrations of the following elements: Cl, K, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Br, Rb, Sr and Pb in the PM2.5 fraction samples collected in Krakow were evaluated. The homogeneity of the samples was also estimated. The concentrations of PM2.5 fraction collected in the summer of 2013 were in the range of 6-23 ng/m3. The concentrations of PM2.5 fraction collected in the winter of 2013 were in the range of 26-171 ng/m3. The precision of the method was found to be below 1% for elements with high concentration in the sample and 6-8 % for trace elements.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.