Characteristics of the elemental composition were investigated for PM10 samples at four sites in Noumea, New Caledonia, where health effects due to nickel production activities such as mining and refining were concerned. The concentration of nickel in the aerosol sample collected in New Caledonia was approximately the same level in Japan while those of other elements were lower in comparing to Japan. Enrichment factor of nickel in aerosol in New Caledonia was approximately 250 which was about 20 times greater than that in Japan. The reasons for this were thought to be (1) influence of soil particles that have relatively higher nickel content from surrounding sampling site, and (2) influence of emission from nickel smelter near the sampling site; however, there was no clear evidence to prove them. Alternatively, the nickel-enriched particles, which were generated as a result of nickel production activities such as a refinement of laterite-nickel ore, could be contributed as a potential source of the aerosol in this area.
- New Caledonia
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