A qualitative study of airborne minerals and associated organic compounds in southeast of Cairo, Egypt

Source of Publication

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This study is concerned with the identification of the mineralogical composition of dust fall samples collected from southeast of Cairo, Egypt. The mineralogical identification was conducted by means of the polarizing microscope, infra-red spectroscopy (IR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The relationship between the mineralogical composition of dust fall samples and 10 rock samples from the surrounding terrains were investigated. The major mineralogical species existing in the atmosphere of the study area are: carbonates mainly in the form of calcite in addition to the appearance of the dolomite form in traces overall the study area, but with considerable observation in the southern region; quartz which is less than calcite in its abundance; sulphates in the form of gypsum which may also be present as traces in the anhydrite form. Trace constitution of feldspars; clay minerals in the form of kaolinite, illite, and montimorillonite; and halite are also observable in the same samples. Organic compounds are present in the atmosphere of the area mainly as alkanes with presence of traces of phosphines. This study qualitatively shows the mineralogy of air particulate over rock processing area and the obtained results indicates that the main pollution source in the study area is the industrial activities with minor contribution of the natural sources, especially erosion and dust carried by winds from the surrounding terrains Cairo in the southern direction. This study provides useful results for the contribution of rock processing activities to the mineral composition of atmospheric particulates.

Document Type


Publication Date