Aerosol generation events due to combustion processes are characterized by high particle emissions in the nucleation mode range. Such particles are characterized by very short atmospheric lifetimes, leading to rapid decay in time and space from the emission point. Therefore, the deposited fraction of inhaled particles (dose) also changes. In fact, close to the emission source, high short-term peak exposures occur. The related exposure estimates should therefore rely on measurements of aerosol number-size distributions able to track rapid aerosol dynamics. In order to study the influence of the time resolution on such estimates, simultaneous measurements were carried out via Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) and Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS) spectrometers during particle generation events in both indoor (cooking activities) and outdoor (airstrip and urban street canyons) microenvironments. Aerosol size distributions in the range 16e520 nm were measured by SMPS and FMPS at frequencies of 0.007 s1 and 1 s1, respectively. Based on the two datasets, respiratory dosimetry estimates were made on the basis of the deposition model of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. During cooking activities, SMPS measurements give an approximate representation of aerosol temporal evolution. Consequently, the related instant doses can be approximated to a fair degree. In the two outdoor microenvironments considered, aerosol size distributions change rapidly: the FMPS is able to follow such evolution, whereas the SMPS is not. The high short-term peak concentrations, and the consequent respiratory doses, evidenced by FMPS data are hardly described by SMPS, which is unable to track the fast aerosol changes. The health relevance of such short peak exposures has not been thoroughly investigated in scientific literature, therefore, in the present paper highly time-resolved and sizeresolved dosimetry estimates were provided in order to deepen this aspect.
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