Correlation analysis of toxic metals on motorway and national highway

Shamyla Nawazish, Syed M. Bukhari, Aamir Muhammad, Ikramullah U. Khan, AJ Alhassan, Mumtaz Hussain, Asma Zaidi


Research evaluating levels of toxic metals along with the busy pollution prone, due to exhaust smoke & sand dust on roads is timely gesture. Five (5) sampling sites were strategic along Motorway (M-3) and National Highway (N-5) in Pakistan. The sites were respectively designed as; M-3a, M-3b, M-3c, M-3d, M-3e and N-5a, N-5b, N-5c, N-5d and N-5e. In each case dust was accumulated 24hours within two consecutive months, in petri plates encrusted with polystyrene foam kept 15 m away from roads as reference control and its corresponding road sites dust deposit near roads as test. The lead (Pb2+) and cadmium (Cd2+) contents were estimated using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).  The results showed high Pb2+ concentration along M-3 and N-5 road sides sand dust deposit compared to controls. High Cd2+ contents were also recorded in road sides deposit at M-3e and M-3d compared to controls at 15m away from the roads. Although high levels of these toxic metals were detected in the road sides sand deposit compared to controls. The controls may be considered to also harbor reasonable concentration of the metals. The correlation co-efficient between the metal contents & traffic density proved that Pb2+ & Cd2+ were constantly toting up from vehicular (exhaust dust). The finding may therefore indicates that settlers along these roads are at high risk of toxicity of these metals.


Cadmium; correlation; dust; environmental pollution; lead.

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