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Infiltration of Black Carbon Particles from Residential Woodsmoke into Nearby Homes

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DOI: 10.4236/ojap.2014.34011    4,310 Downloads   5,251 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In many communities, residential wood burning is the source of a significant fraction of wintertime PM2.5 and produces exposures to nearby residents inside their homes. To evaluate the magnitude of this effect, black carbon particles were measured as a proxy for woodsmoke indoors and outdoors in a community where residential woodsmoke is the only significant particle source. Thirteen indoor/outdoor measurement pairs were obtained at 4 different residences and showed an average indoor/outdoor concentration ratio of 0.78 ± 0.21 for residences without indoor generation. In addition, a time dependent mass balance model was used in conjunction with aethalometer measurements taken over 16 nights at a single residence to estimate an average air exchange rate of 0.26 ± 0.08 h-1, an average deposition loss rate of 0.08 ± 0.03 h-1, and an average penetration factor of 0.97 ± 0.02. Using a mechanistic approach which utilizes these average values in a steady state model, the predicted average infiltration factor was 0.74 for the residence studied. The high values for both measured I/O ratio and modeled infiltration factor show that residential environments provide inhabitants with relatively little protection from recently generated wood smoke particles.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Thatcher, T. , Kirchstetter, T. , Malejan, C. and Ward, C. (2014) Infiltration of Black Carbon Particles from Residential Woodsmoke into Nearby Homes. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 3, 111-120. doi: 10.4236/ojap.2014.34011.

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