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Measurement of vertical concentration profiles of airborne particulate matter in indoor environments: implications for refinement of models and monitoring campaigns

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Vertical concentration profiles of airborne particulate matter were measured in four different indoor environments- library, coffee room, workshop and undergraduate student hostel- on the University Campus at Sutton Bonington. Measurements were carried out using an electronically-controlled lifting platform carrying a real-time optical particle monitor for sampling air sequentially at different heights within the breathing zone. Data was automatically logged at the different receptor levels, for the determination of the average vertical concentration profile of the various particle size ranges which include inhalable, thoracic, alveolic, PM10 and PM2.5. Vertical concentration profiles measured in these different indoor environments exhibited different characteristics but in almost all cases it was clear that different height groups of the population are exposed to different concentrations of the pollutant. This has implications on setting of air quality standards for the protection of public health. The results indicate that we may have to re-think the whole concept of air quality standards and develop protocols for indoor air quality monitoring and modelling which would take into account the above-mentioned factor.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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