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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 6400-6416; doi:10.3390/ijerph110606400

Humidity and Gravimetric Equivalency Adjustments for Nephelometer-Based Particulate Matter Measurements of Emissions from Solid Biomass Fuel Use in Cookstoves

1
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
2
Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
3
Department of Global Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA
4
Department of Biostatistics, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
5
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
6
Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 16 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Modeling)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [501 KB, uploaded 20 June 2014]   |  

Abstract

Great uncertainty exists around indoor biomass burning exposure-disease relationships due to lack of detailed exposure data in large health outcome studies. Passive nephelometers can be used to estimate high particulate matter (PM) concentrations during cooking in low resource environments. Since passive nephelometers do not have a collection filter they are not subject to sampler overload. Nephelometric concentration readings can be biased due to particle growth in high humid environments and differences in compositional and size dependent aerosol characteristics. This paper explores relative humidity (RH) and gravimetric equivalency adjustment approaches to be used for the pDR-1000 used to assess indoor PM concentrations for a cookstove intervention trial in Nepal. Three approaches to humidity adjustment performed equivalently (similar root mean squared error). For gravimetric conversion, the new linear regression equation with log-transformed variables performed better than the traditional linear equation. In addition, gravimetric conversion equations utilizing a spline or quadratic term were examined. We propose a humidity adjustment equation encompassing the entire RH range instead of adjusting for RH above an arbitrary 60% threshold. Furthermore, we propose new integrated RH and gravimetric conversion methods because they have one response variable (gravimetric PM2.5 concentration), do not contain an RH threshold, and is straightforward. View Full-Text
Keywords: nephelometer; particulate matter; humidity adjustment; gravimetric equivalent; pDR; low resource environment; biomass burning; cookstove; indoor air quality nephelometer; particulate matter; humidity adjustment; gravimetric equivalent; pDR; low resource environment; biomass burning; cookstove; indoor air quality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Soneja, S.; Chen, C.; Tielsch, J.M.; Katz, J.; Zeger, S.L.; Checkley, W.; Curriero, F.C.; Breysse, P.N. Humidity and Gravimetric Equivalency Adjustments for Nephelometer-Based Particulate Matter Measurements of Emissions from Solid Biomass Fuel Use in Cookstoves. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 6400-6416.

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