Development and evaluation of a personal particulate organic and mass sampler

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Journal Article

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Accurate measurement of personal exposure to particulate matter and its constituents requires samplers that are accurate, compact, lightweight, inexpensive, and convenient to use. The personal particulate organic and mass sampler (PPOMS) has been developed to meet these criteria. The PPOMS uses activated carbon-impregnated foam as a combined 2.5-μm size-selective inlet and denuder for assessment of fine particle mass and organic carbon. Proof of the PPOMS concept has been established by comparing mass and organic carbon in particles collected with collocated samplers in Seattle, at a central outdoor site, and in residences. Daily particulate mass concentrations averaged 10.0 ± 5.2, 12.0 ± 5.3, and 11.2 ± 5.1 μg m-3 for the Federal Reference Method, the Harvard Personal Exposure Monitor, and the PPOMS, respectively, for 10 24-h sampling periods. During a series of PM2.5 indoor organic carbon (OC) measurements from single quartz filters, the apparent indoor OC averaged 7.7 ± 0.8 μg of C m-3, which was close to the indoor PM2.5 mass from collocated Teflon filters (7.3 ± 2.3 μg of C m-3), indicating the presence of a large positive OC artifact. In collocated measurements, the PPOMS eliminated this artifact just as well as the integrated gas and particle sampler that incorporated a macroreticular polystyrene−divinylbenzene (XAD-4) resin-coated denuder, yielding OC concentrations of 2.5 ± 0.4 and 2.4 ± 1.0 μg of C m-3, respectively. Thermal analysis for OC indicated that the indoor positive artifact was due to adsorption of gas-phase semivolatile organic compounds (SVOC). This study shows that the PPOMS design provides a 2.5-μm size-selective inlet that also prevents the adsorption of gas-phase SVOC onto quartz filters, thus eliminating the filter positive artifact. The PPOMS meets a significant current challenge for indoor and personal sampling of particulate organic carbon. The PPOMS design can also simplify accurate ambient sampling for PM2.5


Environmental Science and Technology



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