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Factors influencing variability in the infiltration of PM2.5 mass and its components
Median daily Finf estimates ranged from 0.26 to 0.36 across seasons for PM2.5; from 0.28 to 0.59 for BC; and from 0.15 to 0.26 for UFP. Median daily Fpex estimates ranged from 0.24 to 0.31 across seasons. Daily PM2.5 and UFP Finf and Fpex estimates were higher in summer than winter, although BC showed the opposite trend. Predictors of daily infiltration were typically related to window-opening behaviours, air conditioning, meteorological variables, and home age. In addition, use of electrostatic precipitators and stand alone air cleaners was associated with significantly reduced infiltration factors, indicating that these devices may provide a cost effective mechanism of reducing human exposures to particles of ambient origin.
The majority of indoor PM2.5 (median 57e73%) and indoor BC (median 90e100%) was of ambient origin across seasons, while both personal PM2.5 and indoor UFPs had significant non-ambient contributions (median 60e65%). Factors that were found to increase non-ambient particle concentrations were typically related to cooking, candle use, supplemental heating, cleaning, and number of people in the home. Factors that were found to decrease non-ambient particle concentrations were open windows, and air cleaner use.
This work has several implications to both epidemiologic studies and risk management. A better understanding of the factors influencing Finf and Fpex can improve exposure assessment and contribute to reduced exposure misclassification in epidemiologic studies. Furthermore, by increasing our knowledge of non-ambient and ambient exposures, risk associated with PM exposure can be managed more effectively.
Publication titleAtmospheric Environment
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherPergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Place of publicationThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb
Rights statementCrown Copyright 2012