Determining the presence of heavy metals in the air by using GLOBE protocols for aerosols, conductivity and pH

Student(s):Dino Bešić Sarah Butigan
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:Marina Pavlić, Irena Sabo
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges: Be an Engineer
Date Submitted:03/11/2016

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Aerosols are solid or liquid particles or both, suspended in air with diameters between about 0.002 µm to about 100 µm. Aerosol particles vary greatly in size, source and chemical composition. Some of the components are heavy metals, wich can be measured by GLOBE protocols. We used the method of moist sedimentation to aquire a sample of air in Bakar, and then analysed it with GLOBE protocols. We were inspired to use this methods when the citizens of Bakar invited us to see the big black blot in the middle of The Bakar Bay and the black particles in their homes. As we collaborated with them investigating the sea,soil and the bottom of the sea in our previous projects,we determined that the pollution was comming from the air. We decided to investigate the quantity of suspended particles(aerosols) in the air and determine their chemical composition. Analysing the sample's we concluded that the sample with heavy metal's had higher pH and conductivity levels than normal. By tracking the: aerosols, air temperature and rainfall our data showed that the aerosols are highest when temperature and rainfall levels were low. This method's could help more GLOBE reaserchers to study heavy metals in air.


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1. I really enjoyed reading your abstract, sounds interesting and educative. Your Abstract does not exceed 200 words. And contains The problems, Questions, Objectives, conclusion and recommendation.
2. Your explanation under reseach question does not identified your Research question categorically . The scientific interest of these questions was not indicated rather you gave a sound and educative introduction under this section but the research questions were not properly started.
3. Your report indicated that truly you collected data using GLOBE protocols and I was exteremely glad to see that you entered your data into the GLOBE database. Sources and equipments used were properly illustrated with clear pictures. That makes your report an outstanding one.
4. I enjoyed reading all the collaborations you have made in your research. I can perceived the contributions of the scientists in your report and that added a lot of beauty your research work. Please keep it up.

Posted on 4/2/16 11:36 AM.

Student 1 of Marina Pavlić
A) Health effects
In our projects which we made in the city of Bakar, we also researched (except the air in Bakar) the sea, the underwater of the sea and soil in Bakar. The citizens of Bakar are swimming in that sea, where we found high concentration of heavy metals and PAH's. We also found high concentrations of heavy metals and PAH's in the soil and plants( we researched the plant rosemary) in Bakar, which is a big problem because the citizens of Bakar are growing vegetables and fruits in the same soil that is contaminated. We also interviewed them and they told us that they noticed a high frequency of allergic reactions. They also complained how they couldn't breathe in their homes because of the carbon particles that are collecting in their homes.
emoticon Climate effects
In the last years project we noticed a higher precipitation rate than at our referent research location( Rijeka), which is unusual for such a short distance between the research locations- 6 km and we suspect that the cause is a high concentrations of aerosols in the air. Because of the high frequencies of precipitation the toxic suspended particles are getting sedimented in the sea and soil which causes bigger pollution, and in the end more health problems for the citizens.

Thank you for your comment, and propositions on how we can better explain our project. We are glad that you enjoyed our abstract, and that you have noticed how we have put much effort in putting the data in the GLOBE database. We are also happy that we could help the citizens of Bakar so much and that we are still collaborating with them to reduce the pollution of aerosols in the air.

- Students; Sarah Butigan and Dino Bešić.

Posted on 4/8/16 3:30 PM.

Dear Marina,
Thanks for the concise and clear responses you gave to my questions.
I appreciate your good works.

Posted on 4/9/16 4:50 PM.