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Atmospheric metals usually reside in aerosols with complex source origins. The concentrations distribution of metals especially for those with high toxicity (Pb, Cd, Ni, V) should be informative for assessing the health effects.

Source apportionment studies can link the atmospheric species with source emissions, and the results can support the policy designing for pollution control. Therefore, to determine the pollution levels of heavy metals and quantify their origins should be an essential part for health risk management.

Usually, the source apportionment include three different methods, i.e., inventories-based, chemical transport model-based and receptor-based. For those studies for identifying the source origins of atmospheric metals, receptor models were the dominant method, and CTM models were seldom adopted. Therefore, I want to ask the difficulties of simulating atmospheric metals in different aspects.

I come up with one reason:

  • The source origins of atmospheric were complex with anthropogenic, and natural sources all affected. Therefore, building the source inventories for those metals were challenging.

Is there any other issues counted in the simulation work. Any comments or recommended material would be highly appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ A few basic thoughts based on some things, which I heard at conferences: (a) Heavy metals might be part of dust. Dust emissions are difficult to model. (b) Only trace levels of heavy metals are found in ore or coal. The levels might vary considerably for ore/coal from different regions/deposits (a guest). Therefore, these levels probably vary. (c) Heavy metals from tire and brake abrasion are often emitted in cities. Air quality in cities is difficult to model and we have severel substances of higher concern (and higher concentration) in cities. Therefore, the interest might be low. $\endgroup$ – daniel.neumann Apr 28 '18 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ @daniel.neumann - what about in cities around the world where plastic/e-waste is burnt as garbage -phys.org/news/… ? Would that contain heavy metals ? $\endgroup$ – gansub Apr 29 '18 at 4:22
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    $\begingroup$ @daniel.neumann - Maybe not in Europe where trash is burned in incinerators. Certainly not in developing countries around Asia or elsewhere where garbage is burnt in the open. Just search for it in the internet. $\endgroup$ – gansub Apr 30 '18 at 8:22
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    $\begingroup$ @HanZhengzu - both our countries need to tackle/track/research this problem ASAP i.e. release of heavy metals into the air due to burning of plastic/e-waste. $\endgroup$ – gansub Apr 30 '18 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ @HanZhengzu - And how this affects precipitation patterns. Synoptic scale systems over oceans may not be as badly affected as mesoscale and afternoon thunderstorm systems over land $\endgroup$ – gansub May 2 '18 at 2:25

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