The purpose of this study was to measure the airborne concentrations of PM10 and eight metalloids and metals (arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, and nickel) in the southern Tucson metropolitan area, and to evaluate possible stationary and mobile sources. Over 200 quartz filters from a PM10 network located at six schools in the Sunnyside Unified School District were analyzed. The network was established primarily to detect any airborne beryllium in the vicinity of a ceramics-processing facility, and we were able to analyze the samples for additional metals, at little additional cost. The results show that the study area has good air quality with respect to PM10 and metals, with ambient concentrations meeting US Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization standards. Beryllium was detected only once (during a dust storm) and was ascribed to natural-occurring beryllium in the suspended soil. This study was not able to apportion those few metals that were detected to any particular source or sources.
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