Passive Sampling of Ambient Air Particulate Matter

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Project Period: 
Project Investigator(s): 
T. Peters, D.Ott, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa

Adverse health outcomes have been associated with exposure to atmospheric particulate matter (PM). National Ambient Air Quality Standards aim to protect Americans from these exposures through state-run monitoring networks; states must reduce particle concentrations when they exceed national standards. Costs associated with traditional samplers severely limit the number of monitoring sites, which hampers efforts to identify and control key sources of particles. The work proposed here will adapt a new passive sampler for its use in PM networks via three tasks: [i] design an outdoor housing for the new sampler; [ii] assess its precision and accuracy for concentrations typical of the atmosphere; and [iii] use these samplers to identify any key sources of particulate within Iowa City. Passive samplers are substantially more economical than traditional samplers; thus, this work will enable more observations so that actions taken by states to reduce particle concentrations will have a greater likelihood of success.  


Ott DK, Kumar N, Peters TM. Passive sampling to capture spatial variability in PM 10-2.5 Atmospheric Environment 2007, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.09.058