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Evaluation of Field-deployed Low Cost PM Sensors
Williams, R., A. Kaufman, T. Hanley, J. Rice, AND S. Garvey. Evaluation of Field-deployed Low Cost PM Sensors. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-14/464 (NTIS PB 2015-102104), 2014.
The National Exposure Research Laboratory’s (NERL’s) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD’s research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA’s strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.
Background Particulate matter (PM) is a pollutant of high public interest regulated by national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) using federal reference method (FRM) and federal equivalent method (FEM) instrumentation identified for environmental monitoring. PM is present in the atmosphere in concentrations that can vary greatly according to location, temperature, and a number of circumstances that influence local air quality. Citizen scientists and other researchers have a desire to monitor this pollutant, and there is a need for increased accessibility to portable and economical monitoring and sampling equipment. The evolution of low cost PM sensors has resulted in a number of such instruments becoming commercially available. However, this evaluation was not conducted to assess the suitability of these PM sensors to serve as either FRM or FEM sampler instruments. This activity represents the first step in evaluating some of the commercially available low cost PM sensors and comparing their data-collection capabilities to that of collocated FEM samplers during field evaluations.