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Evaluation of airborne particulate matter and metals data in personal, indoor and outdoor environments using ED-XRF and ICP-MS and co-located duplicate samples

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 10:47 authored by Niu, J, Rasmussen, PE, Amanda WheelerAmanda Wheeler, Williams, R, Chenier, M
Factors and sources affecting measurement uncertainty associated with monitoring metals in airborne particulate matter (PM) were investigated as part of the Windsor, Ontario Exposure Assessment Study (WOEAS). The assessmentwas made using co-located duplicate samples and a comparison of two analytical approaches: ED-XRF and ICP-MS. Sampling variabilitywas estimated using relative percent difference (RPD) of co-located duplicate samples. The comparison of ICP-MS and ED-XRF results yields very good correlations (R2>=0.7) for elements present at concentrations that pass both ICP-MS and ED-XRF detection limits (e.g. Fe, Mn, Zn, Pb and Cu). PM concentration ranges (median, sample number) of 24-h indoor PM10 and personal PM10 filters, and outdoor PM2.5 filters were determined to be 2.2-40.7 (11.0, n=48) ugm-3, 8.0-48.3 (11.9, n=48) ugm-3, and17.1-42.3 (21.6, n=18) ugm-3, respectively. The gravimetric analytical results reveal that the variations in PM mass measurements for same-day sampling are insignificant compared to temporal or spatial variations: 92%, 100% and 96% of indoor, outdoor and personal duplicate samples, respectively, pass the quality criteria (RPD<=20%). Uncertainties associated with ED-XRF elemental measurements of S, Ca,Mn, Fe and Zn for 24-h filter samples are low: 78%-100% of the duplicate samples passed the quality criteria. In the case of 24-h filter samples using ICP-MS, more elements passed the quality criteria due to the lower detection limits. Thesewere: Li,Na, K, Ca, Si, Al, V, Fe,Mn, Co, Cu,Mo, Ag, Zn, Pb, As,Mg, Sb, Sn, Sr, Th, Ti, Tl, and U. Low air concentrations of metals (near or below instrumental detection limits) and/or inadvertent introduction of metal contamination are the main causes for excluding elements based on the pass/fail criteria. Uncertainty associated with elemental measurements must be assessed on an element-by-element basis.


Publication title

Atmospheric Environment








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd

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Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

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