Factors affecting the indoor concentrations of carbonaceous aerosols of outdoor origin

TitleFactors affecting the indoor concentrations of carbonaceous aerosols of outdoor origin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMelissa M Lunden, Thomas W Kirchstetter, Tracy L Thatcher, Susanne V Hering, Nancy J Brown
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume42
5660
Issue22
Pagination5660-5671
Date Published07/2008
Keywordsadsorption artifact, aerosols, carbon, gas-to-particle partitioning, indoor air quality
Abstract

A field study was conducted in an unoccupied single-story residence in Clovis, California, to provide data to address issues important to assess the indoor exposure to particles of outdoor origin. Measurements of black and organic carbonaceous aerosols were performed using a variety of methods, resulting in both near real-time measurements as well as integrated filter-based measurements. Comparisons of the different measurement methods show that it is crucial to account for gas phase adsorption artifacts when measuring organic carbon (OC). Measured concentrations affected by the emissions of organic compounds sorbed to indoor surfaces imply a higher degree of infiltration of outdoor organic carbon aerosols into the indoor environment for our unoccupied house. Analysis of the indoor and outdoor data for black carbon (BC) aerosols show that, on average, the indoor concentration of black carbon aerosols behaves in a similar manner to sulfate aerosols. In contrast, organic carbon aerosols are subject to chemical transformations indoors that for our unoccupied home, resulted in lower indoor OC concentrations than would be expected by physical loss mechanisms alone. These results show that gas to particle partitioning of organic compounds, as well as gas to surface interactions within the residence, are an important process governing the indoor concentration to OC aerosols of outdoor origin.

DOI10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.03.017