Platinum pollution in road dusts, roadside soils, and tree barks in Seoul, Korea

Hea Youn Lee, Hyo Taek Chon, Manfred Sager, Laszlo Marton

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25 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the level of platinum in urban environment in and around Seoul, the capital city of Korea. Road dust, roadside soil, and tree bark samples were collected from the sites of various traffic volumes and from control sites in the suburbs. The above samples were analyzed for Pt by ICP-MS and other heavy metals by ICP-OES. Platinum levels in road dusts and roadside soils from Seoul were in the range of 3.8-444 ng/g (av. 115.0 ng/g) and 0.7-221 ng/g (av. 49.7 ng/g), respectively, whereas those in the suburbs were in the range of 2.3-5.2 ng/g (av. 3.9 ng/g) in road dusts and 0.4-5.1 ng/g (av. 2.4 ng/g) in roadside soils. The highest Pt levels in road dusts were found from major roads with high traffic volume. The remarkable difference in average Pt level between heavy traffic roads (av. 132.2 ng/g) and light traffic roads (av. 22.8 ng/g) reflects that an important source of Pt in roadside environment is automobile catalytic converter. High Pt level in road dust was found from the site of erratic stop-start driving condition, for example, 178 ng/g Pt in road dust around a vehicle crossing gate. Platinum level in tree barks ranged from 0.9 to 4.5 ng/g, which indicates the existence of Pt-containing particulate matter in the atmosphere. Road dusts with high Pt level were enriched in traffic-related heavy metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Platinum (Pt)
  • Road dusts
  • Roadside soils
  • Seoul metropolitan city
  • Traffic-related heavy metal
  • Tree barks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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