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Price, Heather; Jones, Timothy Peter; Berube, Kelly Ann (2012)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: GE, Q1
Human exposure to airborne PM10 (particulate matter below 10 μm) is not a recent problem, however industrial, mechanical and electronic developments over the last 150 years have meant that levels of airborne pollutants have been at unparalleled levels. Exposure to atmospheric PM10 is linked with adverse health effects including asthma and cardiovascular complaints. \ud Particulate matter between 7 nm and 10 μm was collected using the Dekati™ Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI) at a traffic canyon in Swansea (flow rate of 16,000 vehicles/day). Sampling was semi-continuous for a year (2008/2009). Available meteorological data included wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and rainfall. In addition, vehicle counts and speeds were available at the site.\ud The mean particle number concentration (PNC) at the traffic site was 40,600 particles cm-3 (32,000 cm-3 median), averaged over the year-long semi-continuous sampling period. Clear diurnal and weekday-weekend cycles were identified in the data. A principal components analysis identified that increases of PNCs below ~600 nm were associated with reduced temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed and vehicle speed, in addition to increased vehicle volumes. In contrast, increases in PNCs of particles over 1.6 μm were associated with reduced rainfall.\ud This study has shown that PNCs of size-segregated PM10 at an urban site were extremely variable through time, and that this variation is heavily contributed to by the particles below 100 nm. These particles contribute little to the mass, meaning that current legislation, which monitors PM10 concentrations by particle mass are unlikely to be representative of the numbers of particles which people are exposed to at this traffic site.
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