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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Kennedy, Ann
item Busacca, Alan
item Claiborn, Candis

Submitted to: Western Society of Soil Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Air quality problems resulting from displaced soil or dust particulates are mainly unresolved because current technology often does not enable identification of the nonpoint sources of pollution. In order to implement control measures to reduce nonpoint dust emissions, it is necessary to distinguish among the relative contributions from specific regions upwind of the receptor area. The overall objective of this research was to develop and evaluate biological analyses to fingerprint receptor samples as a potential aid to identify and quantify relative PM-10 source contributions. Fatty acid profile analyses of soils exhibit unique patterns, and are useful to differentiate dissimilar soils. Soil particles exhibited unique patterns of fatty acid fingerprints depending on their origin. Samples of particulate contaminants in air were collected and analyzed for fatty acid pattern or DNA sequence. The unique identifiers of fthese profiles were compared with a library of profiles from known materials, and from this, the origin of the unknown material was determined. The successful development of this method will provide a powerful tool for identifying sources of air-borne particulate matter.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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