Investigation of sources of atmospheric aerosol at a hot spot area in Dhaka, Bangladesh

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2005 Feb;55(2):227-40. doi: 10.1080/10473289.2005.10464606.


Samples of fine and coarse fractions of airborne particulate matter were collected at the Farm Gate area in Dhaka from July 2001 to March 2002. Dhaka is a hot spot area with very high pollutant concentrations because of the proximity of major roadways. The samples were collected using a "Gent" stacked filter unit in two fractions of 0- to 2.2-microm and 2.2- to 10-microm sizes. The samples were analyzed for elemental concentrations by particle-induced X-ray excitation (PIXE) and for black carbon by reflectivity methods, respectively. The data were analyzed by positive matrix factorization (PMF) to identify the possible sources of atmospheric aerosols in this area. Six sources were found for both the coarse and fine PM fractions. The data sets were also analyzed by an expanded model to explore additional sources. Seven and six factors were obtained for coarse and fine PM fractions, respectively, in these analyses. The identified sources are motor vehicle, soil dust, emissions from construction activities, sea salt, biomass burning/brick kiln, resuspended/fugitive Pb, and two-stroke engines. From the expanded modeling, approximately 50% of the total PM2.2 mass can be attributed to motor vehicles, including two-stroke engine vehicle in this hot spot in Dhaka, whereas the PMF modeling indicates that 45% of the total PM2.2 mass is from motor vehicles. The PMF2 and expanded models could resolve approximately 4% and 3% of the total PM2.2 mass as resuspended/fugitive Pb, respectively. Although, Pb has been eliminated from gasoline in Bangladesh since July 1999, there still may be substantial amounts of accumulated lead in the dust near roadways as well as fugitive Pb emissions from battery reclaimation and other industries. Soil dust is the largest component of the coarse particle fraction (PM2.2-10) accounting for approximately 71% of the total PM2.2-10 mass in the expanded model, whereas from the PMF modeling, the dust (undifferentiated) contribution is approximately 49%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Bangladesh
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Particle Size
  • Quality Control
  • Soil
  • Vehicle Emissions / analysis*


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Soil
  • Vehicle Emissions