Air pollution measurements in a semi-arid zone, using neutron activation analysis

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Neutron activation analysis was used for measurement of air pollution in a semi-arid zone. After a careful selection of the air filter, air samples were filtered in the city of Beer-Sheva in the south of Israel. The sampling took place over a period of 2 months with each sampling period lasting 2 days. The samples were irradiated in a thermal neutron flux of the order of 1013 n/cm2 sec for 1 h and the gamma spectrum was measured several times. The concentration of elements was concluded from the measured gamma spectrum. Several conclusions were obtained by combining the weather conditions with the measurement results. The air pollution can be divided into several sources: dust of a certain origin containing Fe, Co, Cr, Sc, Th and Na (probably from the Dead Sea area), other dust sources containing Sb, Eu, and Hf, and urban pollution due to industry and transportation—Br, Hg. The air pollution has its maxima and minima according to weather or industrial conditions. The pollution requires 4 days to clear out. Other relations to weather conditions were also found.DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1977.tb00766.x
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