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Technical Note: Performance of a Personal Electrostatic Precipitator Particle Sampler

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Abstract: Filter-based methods used to measure aerosols with semi-volatile constituents are subject to biases from adsorption and volatilization that may occur during sampling (McDow et al., 1990, Turpin et al., 1994, Volckens et al., 1999; Tolocka et al. 2001). The development and evaluation of suitable methods for quantitative measurement of semi-volatile organic aerosols is of public health significance because this class of chemicals can include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, and many other known toxins (Harkov, 1986; Finlayson-Pitts and Pitts, 1999). Furthermore, the need exists for personal exposure measurements, since micro-environmental or outdoor surrogates have been shown to have limited utility (Wallace, 1996; Rodes et al. 1991). Previous laboratory and field studies have demonstrated that electrostatic precipitation may be an effective means for sampling such aerosols (Leith, et al., 1996, Volckens et al. 1999, 2000). However, samples of semi-volatile aerosols collected by electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) are susceptible to reactions and degradation due to ozone generated by the corona (Kaupp and Umlauf, 1992). Although the effect of electrode polarity, humidity, temperature, and geometry on ozone generation in corona discharges has been investigated for air cleaning devices (White, 1963, Castle, 1964, Viner et al. 1993, Abdel-Salam et al. 1997, Boelter et al. 1997) and xerographic photocopiers and printers (Nashimoto, 1998), such data are currently unavailable to assess the performance of this new air sampling device. Recently, electrode type has been identified a major factor affecting ozone generation in electrostatic instruments (Nashimoto, 1983, Boelter et al., 1997). This paper builds on prior studies of electrostatic devices by evaluating and optimizing the effect of design properties on the ozone generation and collection efficiency of a unique personal ESP particle sampler. The overall objective of this research is to develop an improved method for sampling aerosols with semi-volatile constituents.

This article has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication.
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Citation:Cardello, N., J. Volckens, M. P. Tolocka, R. W. Wiener, and T. J. Buckley. Technical Note: Performance of a Personal Electrostatic Precipitator Particle Sampler. AEROSOL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 36(2):162-165, (2002).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Atmospheric Methods & Monitoring Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 02/01/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Heasd PM Research Methods: Particle Methods Evaluation and Development
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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