High Contribution of Sea Salt Aerosols on Atmospheric Particles Measured at an Urban Tropical Location in Reunion Island


PM10 was monitored during 2008-2011 period at LUT and BON, two urban tropical stations close to each other at Saint-Pierre city, in Reunion Island (south-western Indian Ocean). During the study period, notable PM10 concentrations are observed at BON close to the coasts. At LUT, a more inland site, the daily PM10 concentration range between 13 and 70 μg/m3. Importantly, the limit value for the protection of the human health is systematically exceeded at BON while it is never exceeded at LUT. Also, the quality objective (QO: 30 μg/m3, on annual average) and the limit value for the human health protection (LV: 40 μg/m3, on annual average) are exceeded at BON each year during 2008-2011, while at LUT no regulatory values are exceeded. Nitrogen dioxide, an atmospheric tracer of anthropogenic activities was also monitored at LUT and BON. The mean diurnal NO2 variation is of the same level and order of magnitude and exhibits a similar pattern at both stations suggesting that distinct sources influence the PM10 at LUT and at BON. Chemical analysis was performed on daily filters sampled in September-November 2011 at the two stations to determine the sea salt contribution on PM10 across Saint-Pierre city. It showed that the sea salt contribution to the PM10 is 55% at BON in September 2011. The sea salt particles are therefore the main cause for the exceedances of the regulatory values of PM10 recorded at BON. The results importantly suggest that the notable PM10 concentrations measured at this urban marine site might have some but minor impact on human health.

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C. Bhugwant, M. Bessafi, O. Favez, L. Chiappini, B. Sieja and E. Leoz-Garziandia, "High Contribution of Sea Salt Aerosols on Atmospheric Particles Measured at an Urban Tropical Location in Reunion Island," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 828-842. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.48097.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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