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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 878704, 16 pages
Research Article

Spatial and Temporal Variation in Fine Particulate Matter Mass and Chemical Composition: The Middle East Consortium for Aerosol Research Study

1Al Quads University (AQU), Beit Hanina, P.O. Box 51000, Jerusalem, Palestine
2Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
3Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
4Israel Union for Environment Defense (IUED), 65134 Tel Aviv, Israel
5Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES), 88840 Hevel Eilot, Israel
6Jordan Society for Sustainable Development (JSSD), Amman 840251, Jordan
7Department of Environmental Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

Received 21 January 2014; Accepted 24 May 2014; Published 18 June 2014

Academic Editor: Andrew Hursthouse

Copyright © 2014 Ziad Abdeen 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.


Ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) samples were collected from January to December 2007 to investigate the sources and chemical speciation in Palestine, Jordan, and Israel. The 24-h PM2.5 samples were collected on 6-day intervals at eleven urban and rural sites simultaneously. Major chemical components including metals, ions, and organic and elemental carbon were analyzed. The mass concentrations of PM2.5 across the 11 sites varied from 20.6 to 40.3 μg/m3, with an average of 28.7 μg/m3. Seasonal variation of PM2.5 concentrations was substantial, with higher average concentrations (37.3 μg/m3) in the summer (April–June) months compared to winter (October–December) months (26.0 μg/m3) due mainly to high contributions of sulfate and crustal components. PM2.5 concentrations in the spring were greatly impacted by regional dust storms. Carbonaceous mass was the most abundant component, contributing 40% to the total PM2.5 mass averaged across the eleven sites. Crustal components averaged 19.1% of the PM2.5 mass and sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate accounted for 16.2%, 6.4%, and 3.7%, respectively, of the total PM2.5 mass. The results of this study demonstrate the need to better protect the health and welfare of the residents on both sides of the Jordan River in the Middle East.