This study identified the levels and sources of heavy metal contamination in road dust from busy traffic areas in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria. A total of 13 sampling sites, including three traffic rotaries, tow highways, three downtown areas, four circulation roads and one background area, were selected for this study. The contamination levels of the heavy metals in the road dust were evaluated using the contamination factor and the degree of contamination. The contamination levels of the heavy metals in the road dust were highly dependent on traffic volume and atmospheric dispersion from traffic rotaries. The varied contamination levels of heavy metals in the road dust from the downtown were highly dependent on traffic volume and the road environment. Vehicle speed was also a strong contributing factor to the degree of contamination of heavy metals in the road dust from the different types of roads.
Keywords: heavy metal, road dusts, vehicle emissions, contamination factor, atmospheric condition, Hassi Messaoud, Algeria