Indoor and outdoor submicrometer particles: exposure and epidemiologic relevance ("the 3 indoor Ls")

Ulrich Franck, Thomas Tuch, Maria Manjarrez, Alfred Wiedensohler, Olf Herbarth
Environmental Toxicology 2006, 21 (6): 606-13
Airborne particles represent a very important pollutant with respect to healthy housing conditions. The snag is that in lack of indoor data epidemiological studies focusing on submicron and ultrafine (<100 nm in diameter) particles are usually forced to use outdoor particle concentrations only. On the other hand it is known that people spend most of their time indoors. The aim of this paper is therefore to give a short comprehensive overview of the indoor/outdoor problem with regard to submicron and ultrafine particles, investigating how indoor particle size distributions correlate with outdoor concentrations in the absence of significant indoor sources. In the absence of a major indoor source, total indoor particle number concentrations were always lower than outdoor concentrations. The highest ratios between indoor and outdoor concentrations tend to correlate with lower rather than higher total outdoor particle number concentrations. Concentration ratios depend on particle size. Time lags of the correlation coefficients between the concentrations of indoor and outdoor particles of different diameters have been determined to assess the time the particles need to enter the indoor site through closed modern-type windows. Typical lag times of 0.5-3 h between somewhat smaller indoor particles and somewhat larger outdoor particles have been observed. To assess the resulting particle burden for humans, a suitably weighted average emphasizing indoor aerosol particles must be used. To classify the health effects of particles of different diameters, different decreases of particle number concentrations depending on the particle sizes must be taken into account if indoor concentrations cannot be measured and outdoor concentrations are used in place of indoor measurements. In urban areas, ultrafine particles originate primarily from rapidly increasing traffic, which is the dominating source at many urban sites. The influence of traffic on outdoor and indoor concentrations is therefore of special interest.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"