SPATIAL AND SEASONAL EVALUATION OF CONCENTRATIONS OF TOTAL SUSPENDED PARTICLES AND ASSOCIATED METALLIC ELEMENTS IN THE AIR OF A SOUTHEASTERN BRAZILIAN CITY

The present study evaluated the concentrations of Total Suspended Particles (TSP) and associated metals in three distinct regions of Ribeirão Preto city (Center City, Campus and Airport) in the dry and rainy seasons. There were no significant differences (p < 0.05) in TSP and metals concentrations between the sampling sites, except for Cu, Cr and Zn. Seasonal variation was observed for TSP and the following associated metals: As, Be, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn and V, being the highest concentrations observed in the dry period. The TSP concentrations did not exceed the air quality standards in São Paulo state, but these can cause harm to the population health, especially in the dry season. Cadmium was the only element that exceeded the WHO air quality guidelines in two consecutive samplings in the Center City and the Airport during the dry season. In this way, preventive measures should be taken through public policies to improve local air quality control and reduce the health risks to the population.