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Assessment of the Halogen Content of Brazilian Inhalable Particulate Matter (PM10) Using High Resolution Molecular Absorption Spectrometry and Electrothermal Vaporization Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, with Direct Solid Sample Analysis

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posted on 20.07.2015, 00:00 by Jefferson S. de Gois, Tarcisio S. Almeida, Jeferson C. Alves, Rennan G. O. Araujo, Daniel L. G. Borges
Halogens in the atmosphere play an important role in climate change and also represent a potential health hazard. However, quantification of halogens is not a trivial task, and methods that require minimum sample preparation are interesting alternatives. Hence, the aim of this work was to evaluate the feasibility of direct solid sample analysis using high-resolution continuum source molecular absorption spectrometry (HR-CS MAS) for F determination and electrothermal vaporization-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ETV-ICP-MS) for simultaneous Cl, Br, and I determination in airborne inhalable particulate matter (PM10) collected in the metropolitan area of Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil. Analysis using HR-CS MAS was accomplished by monitoring the CaF molecule, which was generated at high temperatures in the graphite furnace after the addition of Ca. Analysis using ETV-ICP-MS was carried out using Ca as chemical modifier/aerosol carrier in order to avoid losses of Cl, Br, and I during the pyrolysis step, with concomitant use of Pd as a permanent modifier. The direct analysis approach resulted in LODs that were proven adequate for halogen determination in PM10, using either standard addition calibration or calibration against a certified reference material. The method allowed the quantification of the halogens in 14 PM10 samples collected in a northeastern coastal city in Brazil. The results demonstrated variations of halogen content according to meteorological conditions, particularly related to rainfall, humidity, and sunlight irradiation.

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