Chemical Characterization and Source Apportionment of PM2.5 near Semi-Urban Residential-Industrial Areas

Publication Name

Exposure and Health


This study aims to determine the concentrations of the trace metals (TM) and water soluble inorganic ions (WSII) of the PM2.5 pollutant collected in the suburban industrial-residential airshed during the southwest (SW), inter-monsoon (IM) and northeast (NE) monsoons in Skudai, Johor Bahru. The PM2.5 samples were collected using the MiniVol™ portable air sampler equipped with filter paper. The TM and WSII of PM2.5 were determined by using the inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and ion chromatography (IC), respectively. The sources of the PM2.5 composition were determined using the Positive Matrix factorisation (PMF) and the origin of the measured air-masses were determined by the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT). The results show that the major TM identified were Fe > Ba > Zn > Mg > Al. Meanwhile for the WSII, the major contributor was the secondary inorganic aerosols (SIA); NO3−, SO42− and NH4+. The six predominant sources identified were (1) mineral dust pollution (4.2%), (2) source of mixed road dust and biomass burning (18.1%), (3) mixed secondary inorganic aerosol and road dust emission (18.1%), (4) emission of the non-combustion traffic source (25.4%), (5) industrial emission (18.1%) and (6) undefined (16.1%).

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia



Link to publisher version (DOI)