Transboundary atmospheric lead pollution

Yigal Erel*, Tamar Axelrod, Alain Veron, Yitzak Mahrer, Petros Katsafados, Uri Dayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A high-temporal resolution collection technique was applied to refine aerosol sampling in Jerusalem, Israel. Using stable lead isotopes, lead concentrations, synoptic data, and atmospheric modeling, we demonstrate that lead detected in the atmosphere of Jerusalem is not only anthropogenic lead of local origin but also lead emitted in other countries. Fifty-seven percent of the collected samples contained a nontrivial fraction of foreign atmospheric lead and had 206Pb/207Pb values which deviated from the local petrol-lead value (206Pb/207Pb = 1.113) by more than two standard deviations (0.016). Foreign 206Pb/207Pb values were recorded in Jerusalem on several occasions. The synoptic conditions on these dates and reported values of the isotopic composition of lead emitted in various countries around Israel suggest that the foreign lead was transported to Jerusalem from Egypt, Turkey, and East Europe. The average concentration of foreign atmospheric lead in Jerusalem was 23 ± 17 ng/m3, similar to the average concentration of local atmospheric lead, 21 ± 18 ng/m3. Hence, the load of foreign atmospheric lead is similar to the load of local atmospheric lead in Jerusalem.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3230-3233
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2002


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