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  • 1 Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 201800 Shanghai, P.R. China
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Adverse health effects of occupational exposures to metal-containing airborne particles have long been recognized. To reduce the adverse effects caused by metal-containing particles, it is important to make clear where they are from. SPM has been applied to the study of the sources of chromium, manganese, nickel and zinc in aerosol particles PM10. Micro-PIXE spectra of single particles were treated as fingerprints since each particle was characterized by its micro-PIXE spectrum. The sources of the metal-containing particles were identified using the fingerprints of single particles. The study shows that the major sources of the four kinds of metals in the air are metallurgic emission, vehicle exhaust, coal combustion and soil dust.