Determination of mercury and lead in ambient air and the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of the Residents in the presence of these metals In naga city, cebu, philippines
Due to the industrial and economic growth in the City of Naga, there were growing concerns in the quality of air
the residents were breathing. With this, the presence of mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) in the ambient air was determined from
the total suspended particulate (TSP) samples. The samples were procured from DENR-7 collected from August to
December 2012 and analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The criteria set by Philippine Clean Air Act
(PCAA) of 1999 were used as reference standards of these heavy metals. Likewise, household surveys were conducted from
December 2013 to January 2014 to assess the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of the residents to the presence of Hg and
Pb in their locality. There were six barangays chosen due to their proximity to the major pollution sources. The results of the
study showed that the average concentration of Hg was 1.80 x 10-7μg/Nm3 , while Pb was < 6.57 x 10-7μg/Nm3 in the TSP
samples. The trends of the Hg and Pb concentration were way below the standard of the PCAA and indicated that the
ambient air quality of Naga was not yet polluted with Hg and Pb pollutants during the study period. However, the household
survey revealed that 78% of the residents believe that their locality was already polluted by Hg and Pb due to the presence of
the industrial plants in their place. The perception of the residents did not coincide with the laboratory results probably due
to the time difference of the survey and the sampling period.
Keywords- Air Quality, Total Suspended Particulate, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Heavy Metals, Naga City.