Sources of personal exposure to fine particles in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kim D, Sass-Kortsak A, Purdham JT, Dales RE, Brook JR.
J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2005 Aug;55(8):1134-46.

ABSTRACT: Individuals are exposed to particulate matter from both indoor and outdoor sources. The aim of this study was to compare the relative contributions of three sources of personal exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) by using chemical tracers. The study design incorporated repeated 24-hr personalexposure measurements of air pollution from 28 cardiac-compromised residents of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Each study participant wore the Rupprecht & Patashnick ChemPass Personal Sampling System 1 day a week for a maximum of 10 weeks. During their individual exposuremeasurement days the subjects reported to have spent an average of 89% of their time indoors. Particle phase elemental carbon, sulfate, and calcium personal exposure data were used in a mixed-effects model as tracers for outdoor PM2.5 from traffic-related combustion, regional, and local crustal materials, respectively. These three sources were found to contribute 13% +/- 10%, 17% +/- 16%, and 7% +/- 6% of PM2.5 exposures. The remaining fraction of the personal PM2.5 is hypothesized to be predominantly related to indoor sources. For comparison, central site outdoor PM2.5 measurements for the same dates as personal measurements were used to construct a receptor model using the same three tracers. In this case, traffic-related combustion, regional, and local crustal materials were found to contribute 19% +/- 17%, 52% +/- 22%, and 10% +/- 7%, respectively. Our results indicate that the three outdoor PM2.5 sources considered are statistically significant contributors to personal exposure to PM2.5. Our results also suggest that among the Toronto subjects, who spent a considerable amount of time indoors, exposure to outdoor PM2.5 includes a greater relative contribution from combustion sources compared with outdoor PM2.5 measurements where regional sources are the dominant contributor.

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