Table of Contents
International Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
Volume 2014, Article ID 680735, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/680735
Research Article

Physical and Chemical Components of Cuba’s Rain: Effects on Air Quality

1Laboratorio de Química de la Atmósfera, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad de Chile, RM8380492 Santiago, Chile
2Centro de Contaminación y Química Atmosférica, Instituto de Meteorología de Cuba, La Habana, Cuba

Received 30 April 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 12 August 2014

Academic Editor: Prodromos Zanis

Copyright © 2014 Margarita Préndez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of the physical and chemical components of rain affecting air quality in Cuba. Samples were obtained from pollution monitoring stations throughout Cuba. Different chemical analyses including elements and ions were conducted. Meteorological data was also included for the analysis. Results show that the pH was slightly basic for most stations, except those of the eastern region which exhibit pH values below 5.6. The major anthropogenic sources of ions are the burning of fossil fuel by power plants, cement factories, and nickel-processing industries and the burning of biomass through poor agricultural practices. The western region exhibited increased concentrations of and during the dry season, most likely due to the long-range transport of pollutants from the northeastern United States as well as local pollutants. Marine aerosols clearly influence Cuba’s rain. Only a small fraction of the potentially acidic ions contributes to the free acidity of Cuba’s rainwater, mainly due to the neutralizing capacity of some ions such as Cl-, Na+, Ca+2, and . The implementation of abatement techniques for SO2 and NOX and some elements emissions from major stationary sources will be an effective measure to improve air quality in Cuba.