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Characterization of Sources of Indoor Particles Using Novel Sampling TechniquesEPA Grant Number: U915347
Title: Characterization of Sources of Indoor Particles Using Novel Sampling Techniques
Investigators: Long, Christopher M.
Institution: Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Just, Theodore J.
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $80,280
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Health Risk Assessment , Health Effects , Academic Fellowships
The objective of this research project is to use novel monitoring and modeling techniques to characterize and quantify sources of indoor fine particulate matter (PM).
Indoor and outdoor particulate mass and size measurements were made in nine Boston-area homes over 7-day periods in both the summer and winter. Continuous PM2.5 concentrations were measured inside and outside each home, using the Continuous Aerosol Mass Monitor, which recently was developed at Harvard, and the Tapered Element Oscillating MicroBalance. Both indoor and outdoor particle sizes were continuously monitored using the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer and the Aerosol Particle Sizer. Integrated PM10, PM2.5, fungal spore, and particulate composition data (e.g., elemental and organic carbon, etc.) also were collected inside and outside these homes. In addition, continuous air exchange rates were measured, and detailed time activity information was obtained. Scripted activities were performed so that particle generation and decay could be directly explored for different indoor sources. The continuous particulate data will be used to investigate patterns in indoor and outdoor fine mass levels and size distributions, including diurnal and seasonal trends. Together with air exchange rates and time-activity information, these continuous data will be used to quantify source strengths of various particle sources in indoor environments. Compositional data (e.g., elemental/organic carbon concentrations, elemental analysis, biological spore concentrations, and continuous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon measurements) also will be used to characterize indoor particles and apportion their sources. Indoor/outdoor relationships will be investigated, and the importance of ambient versus indoor particle sources to indoor exposures will be examined. Factors influencing indoor particle generation and behavior (e.g., air exchange rates, deposition rates, penetration efficiencies) will be investigated. Study results will ultimately be incorporated into physical-statistical models to estimate indoor source contributions and predict indoor fine particulate levels.