Evolving Pb isotope signatures of London Airborne Particulate Matter (PM10) - constraints from on-filter and solution-mode MC-ICP-MS

Steve Smith, Stephen Noble, Matthew Horstwood, Pamela Davy, Vanessa Pashley, Baruch Spiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Downloads (Pure)


Pb isotope compositions of biologically significant PM10 atmospheric particulates from a busy roadside location in London UK were measured using solution- and laser ablation-mode MC-ICP-MS. The solution-mode data for PM10 sampled between 1998–2001 document a dramatic shift to increasingly radiogenic compositions as leaded petrol was phased out. LA-MC-ICP-MS isotope analysis, piloted on a subset of the available samples, is shown to be a potential reconnaissance analytical technique. PM10 particles trapped on quartz filters were liberated from the filter surface, without ablating the filter substrate, using a 266 nm UV laser and a dynamic, large diameter, low-fluence ablation protocol. The Pb isotope evolution noted in the London data set obtained by both analytical protocols is similar to that observed elsewhere in Western Europe following leaded petrol elimination. The data therefore provide important baseline isotope composition information useful for continued UK atmospheric monitoring through the early 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1039/B802151A
Pages (from-to)830-836
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2008


  • PM10 Pb isotopes
  • London MC-ICP-MS

Cite this