Black Carbon Concentrations Inside and Outside Occupied Residences
Black carbon (BC, soot, elemental carbon) is a component of airborne particulate matter, which has been linked with negative effects on respiratory and cardiovascular systems. BC is considered an indicator of combustion related component of particulate matter, which can be emitted from both outdoor and indoor sources. Pollution control measures focus mainly on outdoor concentrations, whereas control of indoor levels seem to be neglected despite the fact that we spend on average 90% of our time in indoor environments. The aim of this study was to assess the differences in BC concentrations inside and outside occupied residences during weeklong real time measurements in ten residences. BC concentrations were measured simultaneously indoors and outside of ten occupied residences using two microAeth® AE51 (AethLabs, USA) instruments. Continues measurements inside and outside lasted at least seven consecutive days in each residence. Comparisons of BC concentrations were conducted for the times when occupants were present at home and when there was no one in the residence. Average concentrations of BC during occupancy time were comparable between indoors and outdoors. However, a significant contribution of indoor sources to measured BC was observed. High concentrations of BC indoors were due to cooking and candle burning. Concentrations of BC during non-occupancy time were higher outdoors than indoors as expected, as there were no indoor activities which may have contributed to observed levels indoors. Obtained results indicate that in order to minimize exposure of occupants to BC concentrations, efficient control measures of indoor emissions might be as important as prevention of outdoor pollution infiltration to indoor environments.
KeywordsEC Indoor air quality Outdoor pollution
This work was financed by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS (Project Dnr 942-2015-1029 and Dnr 2016-20079) and the Swedish Energy Agency (Dnr 43092-1).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Authors declare no potential conflicts of interest. Results presented here were compiled from three projects. In projects 2016-200079 and 43092-1, which involved studying behavior of the occupants (not described here), the ethical approval has been obtained from the regional ethical review board at Lund University. In project 942-2015-1029 ethical approval was not required, it comprised of technical measurements only. In 942-2015-1029 collected particles on the filters (not described here) were used in toxicological study in mice. All animal procedures were reviewed and approved by the local Animal Welfare Body at NRCWE in Denmark as well as by the Animal Experiments Inspectorate under the Danish Ministry of Justice. The studies were performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Informed consent was obtained from all participants in the studies.
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