Monitoring personal, indoor, and outdoor exposures to metals in airborne particulate matter: Risk of contamination during sampling, handling and analysis
Rasmussen, PE and Wheeler, AJ and Hassan, NM and Filiatreault, A and Lanouette, M, Monitoring personal, indoor, and outdoor exposures to metals in airborne particulate matter: Risk of contamination during sampling, handling and analysis, Atmospheric Environment, 41 pp. 5897-5907. ISSN 1352-2310 (2007) [Refereed Article]
Rigorous sampling and quality assurance protocols are required for the reliable measurement of personal, indoor and outdoor exposures to metals in fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Testing of five co-located replicate air samplers assisted in identifying and quantifying sources of contamination of filters in the laboratory and in the field. A field pilot study was conducted in Windsor, Ont., Canada to ascertain the actual range of metal content that may be obtained on filter samples
using low-flow (4L min1) 24-h monitoring of personal, indoor and outdoor air. Laboratory filter blanks and NIST certified reference materials were used to assess contamination, instrument performance, accuracy and precision of the metals determination. The results show that there is a high risk of introducing metal contamination during all stages of sampling, handling and analysis, and that sources and magnitude of contamination vary widely from element to element.
Due to the very small particle masses collected on low-flow 24-h filter samples (median 0.107mg for a sample volume of approximately 6m3) the contribution of metals from contamination commonly exceeds the content of the airborne particles being sampled. Thus, the use of field blanks to ascertain the magnitude and variability of contamination is critical to determine whether or not a given element should be reported. The results of this study were incorporated into standard
operating procedures for a large multiyear personal, indoor and outdoor air monitoring campaign in Windsor.
particulate matter, elemental composition, personal exposure