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The Ruhr: built on energy

RecShow '08

Middle East Recycling, Waste & Environmental
Management Exhibition & Congress

Successfully Concluded on Feb. 19th , 2008

Air quality and potential health hazards of gamma-emitting radionuclides and heavy metals associated with contaminated dusts in Amman, Jordan.

H. M. Al Dwaikat Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources Authority, Environment and Studies Division, P.O. Box: 7 Amman, Jordan. hdwaikat[at]

D. L. Foster School of Geography and Environmental Science, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK

G. Al Hunjul  Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources Authority, Geological Mapping Division, P.O. Box:7, Amman, Jordan.


This paper discusses the air quality and pollutant in Amman, Jordan during 2001-2002, and the potential health hazards associated with those pollutant.

About 400 dust samples, collected from the air, all year around in 6 locations in Amman and Al Rusaifa in Jordan. In addition of 110 Street dust samples have been collected twice, in winter and summer 2001, from the city of Amman, Jordan. These samples have been subjected to heavy metals analysis and the activities of gamma-emitting radionuclides have been measured in order to measure and assess their health hazards and relationship with published trigger or action levels. The street samples show higher normal radioactivity values than the limit of 0.3 mSV/yr of the ECRP 135, 2003 standard for all Amman areas. No difference could be found between winter samples and summer samples which suggest that seasonality has no impact on the activities and that their sources are continuously present. The dust collector measurements for one whole year of dust gathering from different wind directions show no values of the radioactivity effective dose lower than the 0.3 mSv/yr level recommended by the ECRP 135, (2003) standard, and 24% of them are higher than the 1 mSv/yr in the ECNSE, (2000) standard. This could be due to the local radioactivity in potential source materials, but the possibility of wind transporting radioactive dusts from surrounding countries cannot be ignored.

Heavy metals analysis results for the street samples show that only east Amman area has high concentrations of heavy metals. The Pb mean value was above the trigger value of the ICRCL 1990 and Dutch guidelines 1994/5 but below the threshold values of DEFRA and EA 2002 in winter and Ni and Cr above the ICRCL 1987 trigger levels, but lower than the other standards in summer which may suggest a local source.

In the dust collector samples; 90% of the heavy metals mean values were above the trigger values of the ICRCL 1987. Almost 26% of the heavy metals mean values were above the trigger and threshold values of the above standards. Around 35% of the heavy metals maximum values and 8% of the minimum values were above the trigger and threshold values of all the above standards. The dust collector samples were different from the streets sample groups regarding their heavy metals concentrations. They show much higher values and a wider distribution. This may suggest anthropogenic sources, seasonal effects and particle size related concentration effects for almost all the heavy metals.

Organized by: Walid Hikmat

RAK, United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 50 374 0617

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