Material balance for automobile emitted lead in Los Angeles basin

J. J. Huntzicker, S. K. Friedlander, Cliff Ian Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Scopus citations


The flow of automobile emitted lead through the Los Angeles basin has been estimated from measurements of particle size distributions, atmospheric concentrations, and surface deposition of lead at various sites around the basin. Approximately 24 metric tons/day of lead as gasoline antiknock additives are consumed. Of this, about 18 tons/day are exhausted to the atmosphere and 6 tons/day are retained in the cars. Of the exhausted lead, 2/3 deposits over the land area of the basin, and 1/3 is advected out of the basin. The lead blown out of the Los Angeles area is the major source of atmospheric lead for regions immediately downwind. Automobile emitted lead also accounts for more than half of the anthropogenic lead input to the Los Angeles coastal waters. Most of the lead is accounted for by independent estimates of the separate transport processes, but uncertainties in certain pathways are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-457
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1975
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering

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