Scientific Publications

Outdoor infiltration and indoor contribution of UFP and BC, OC, secondary inorganic ions and metals in PM2.5 in schools

Published
2015

Infiltration of outdoor-sourced particles into indoor environments in 39 schools in Barcelona was assessed during school hours. Tracers of road traffic emissions (NO2, Equivalent Black Carbon (EBC), Ultrafine Particles (UFP), Sb), secondary inorganic aerosols (SO42−, NO3, NH4+) and a number of PM2.5 trace elements showed median indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios ≤ 1, indicating that outdoor sources importantly contributed to indoor concentrations. Conversely, OC and mineral components had I/O ratios>1. Different infiltration factors were found for traffic and secondary components (0.31–0.75 and 0.50–0.92, cold and warm season respectively), with maxima corresponding to EBC and Cd. Higher concentrations of indoor-generated particles were observed when closed windows hindered dispersion (cold season). Building age was not a major determinant of indoor levels. Neither were the window's material, except for NO2 (with an increase of 8 μg m−3 for wood framed windows) and the mineral components (also dependent on the presence of sand in a distance <20 m) that reach the indoor environment via soil adhering to footwear with their dispersion being more barred by Aluminium/PVC framed windows than the wooden ones. Enlarged indoor concentrations of some trace elements suggest the presence of indoor sources that should be further investigated in order to achieve a healthier school indoor environment.

Rivas, I., M. Viana, T. Moreno, L . Bouso, M. Pandolfi, M. Alvarez-Pedrerol, J. Forns, A. Alastuey, J. Sunyer, & X. Querol (2015) Outdoor infiltration and indoor contribution of UFP and BC, OC, secondary inorganic ions and metals in PM2.5 in schools, ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT 106:129-138.