Material Balance for Automobile-Emitted Lead in Los Angeles Basin

James J. Huntzicker, Sheldon K. Friedlander, Cliff I. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 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, two thirds deposits over the land area of the basin, and one third 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 1 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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