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EE15.2.03 - Analysis of Air Particulate Emissions Collected Downwind of an Automobile Shredding Operation: Implications for the Environment and Human Health 
March 29, 2016   4:15pm - 4:30pm

The disposal of materials at the end of their lifecycle, especially for complex manufactured products, presents challenges for protecting the environment and human health. In particular, used automobiles are disposed of by removal of various component parts, followed by shredding, which may emit particles into the atmosphere that may be subsequently deposited onto soil or into water. Further, worldwide automobile production is increasing (68 million cars in 2014 versus 41 million in 2010). In this study, air particulates were collected over several days by DRUM Impactor downwind of an automobile shredding operation located near the ocean, size separated, and analyzed by SEM and TEM, and EDXS, in order to determine their particle size distribution and corresponding chemical composition. Results for larger particles (2.5 to 10.0 μm aerodynamic particle size fraction) showed mainly diatoms and salts, consistent with the location of the plant near the ocean, and aluminosilicates, consistent with dust particles from geological sources. Sulfur, attributed to shipping traffic, was also detected. As aerodynamic particle size decreased from 10 μm to 0.09 μm, particle loading decreased and composition shifted to mainly carbon, oxygen, aluminum, and sulfur. Iron was also found and primarily present in the form of spherical particles that were ~ 1 μm in diameter, as determined by SEM, indicating they originated from a combustion process. Implications of these results for the environment, particularly soil and water deposition, and for human health, as a result of inhalation, are discussed.

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