Speciated measurements of atmospheric mercury plumes were obtained at an industrially impacted residential area of East St. Louis, IL. These plumes were found to result in extremely high mercury concentrations at ground level that were composed of a wide distribution of mercury species. Ground level concentrations as high as 235 ng m-3 for elemental mercury (Hg 0) and 38 300 pg m-3 for reactive mercury species (reactive gaseous (RGM) plus particulate (PHg) mercury) were measured. The highest mercury concentrations observed during the study were associated with plumes that contained high concentrations of all mercury species (Hg 0, RGM, and PHg) and originated from a source located southwest of the sampling site. Variations in proportions of Hg0/RGM/PHg among plumes, with Hg0 dominating some plumes and RGM and/or PHg dominating others, were attributed to differences in emissions from different sources. Correlations between mercury plumes and elevated NOx were not observed; however, a correlation between elevated SO2 and mercury plumes was observed during some but not all plume events. Despite the presence of six coal-fired power plants within 60 km of the study site, wind direction data along with Hg/SO2 and Hg/NOx ratios suggest that high-concentration mercury plumes impacting the St. Louis-Midwest Particle Matter Supersite are attributable to local point sources within 5 km of the site. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.
Additional publication details
Sources of speciated atmospheric mercury at a residential neighborhood impacted by industrial sources