The growing concern about air quality in harbours is a result of the high impact of the operations on human health and environment.
Harbour activities such loading, unloading and transport of dusty materials are important emission sources of Atmospheric
particulate matter (APM). The assessment of these fugitive emissions is a difficult task because they depend on the materials,
the type of operation and the meteorological scenarios. The main objectives of this work were (1) to evaluate if the techniques
k0-based Instrumental neutron activation analysis (k0-INAA) and Particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) are suitable techniques to assess fugitive emissions in harbours and (2)
to estimate the impact of harbour activities on APM levels and composition. Several experimental campaigns were carried out
in a Portuguese harbour, during unloading operations of fertilizer and phosphorite provided from Syria and Morocco. PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 were collected, in polycarbonate filters, by Gent samplers. The techniques k0-INAA and PIXE were applied as sensitive analytical tools to perform a complete chemical characterization of the collected
samples. Results showed that manipulation of these materials during harbour operations resulted in high emissions of particles,
principally from the coarse fraction. These emissions were very affected by the granulometry and nature of the handled materials.
Fertilizer emissions were characterized by high concentration of Ca, P, K, Cr, Br and Zn, whereas phosphorite handling contributed
principally for the increase of Ca, P and Cr levels.