Infiltration of Black Carbon Particles from Residential Woodsmoke into Nearby Homes


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.

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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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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