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Impact of Unleaded Gasoline Introduction on the Concentration of Lead in the Air of Dhaka, Bangladesh
S.K. Biswas, S.A. Tarafder, et al.; J. Air & Waste Management Assoc., 53; 1355-1362, Nov. 2003.


Airborne particulate matter (APM) samples collected at a semiresidential area in Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the periods of 1994 and 1997-2000 have been studied to assess the impact of the use of unleaded gasoline in Bangladesh. According to scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray microanalyzer studies, lead (Pb) was found as Pb sulfates and Pb halides in motor-vehicle exhaust particles, whose diameters were some hundreds of nanometers. No significant changes in the annual averages of APM mass and black carbon concentrations have been observed over the period. The yearly average Pb concentration reached a maximum value of 370 ng/m3 in the particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm fraction in 1998. In 2000, the concentration decreased to approximately one-third (106 ng/m3) of the high earlier values after the introduction of unleaded gasoline in 1999. A significant lowering of the blood Pb level of the population over next few years is expected as a result of this great decrease in Pb concentration.

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