Indoor/Outdoor relationships, trends, and carbonaceous content of fine particulate matter in retirement homes of the Los Angeles Basin

Andrea Polidori, Mohammad Arhami, Constantinos Sioutas, Ralph J Delfino, Ryan Allen
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2007, 57 (3): 366-79
Hourly indoor and outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5), organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC, respectively), particle number (PN), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) concentrations were measured at two different retirement communities in the Los Angeles, CA, area as part of the Cardiovascular Health and Air Pollution Study. Site A (group 1 [G1]) was operated from July 6 to August 20, 2005 (phase 1 [P1]) and from October 19 to December 10, 2005 (P2), whereas site B (group 2 [G2]) was operated from August 24 to October 15, 2005 (P1), and from January 4 to February 18, 2006 (P2). Overall, the magnitude of indoor and outdoor measurements was similar, probably because of the major influence of outdoor sources on indoor particle and gas levels. However, G2 showed a substantial increase in indoor OC, PN, and PM2.5 between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m., probably from cooking. The contributions of primary and secondary OC (SOA) to measured outdoor OC were estimated from collected OC and EC concentrations using EC as a tracer of primary combustion-generated OC (i.e., "EC tracer method"). The study average outdoor SOA accounted for 40% of outdoor particulate OC (40-45% in the summer and 32-40% in the winter). Air exchange rates (hr(-1)) and infiltration factors (Finf; dimensionless) at each site were also determined. Estimated Finf and measured particle concentrations were then used in a single compartment mass balance model to assess the contributions of indoor and/or outdoor sources to measured indoor OC, EC, PM2.5, and PN. The average percentage contributions of indoor SOA of outdoor origin to measured indoor OC were approximately 35% (during G1P1 and G1P2) and approximately 45% (for G2P1 and G2P2). On average, 36% (G2P1) to 44% (G1P1) of measured indoor OC was composed of outdoor-generated primary OC.

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