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Determination and Contamination Assessment of Pb, Cd, and Hg in Roadside Dust along Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Road Section of Arniko Highway, Nepal

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Padma Kanya Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University Kathmandu, NEPAL

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 3, Issue (9), Pages 18-25, September,18 (2013)


Lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) in roadside dust samples collected from 10 major sampling sites along Kathmandu-Bhaktapur road section of Arniko Highway, Kathmandu valley, Nepal. Elevated levels of the heavy metals were found in the dust samples which were compared with background values (control). The metal concentrations varied from 69.09-471.40 mg/kg for Pb, 1.56-6.15 mg/kg for Cd and 0.59-1.89 mg/kg for Hg respectively along with the average concentrations 245.36 mg/kg, 2.89 mg/kg and 1.04 mg/kg, respectively for the same elements. These values were compared with results from various cities/countries world wide. Pollution indices such as contamination factor (CF), degree of contamination (CD) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) of the heavy metals indicated various levels of contamination in the roadside dust across the study sites. The results suggest that traffic emission, automobiles and other anthropogenic activities are the potential sources of the metal contamination.


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