Special Issue "Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality is the main issue in Atmospheric Chemistry. In particular, indoor air quality has been considered a fundamental aspect of an integrated approach to air quality evaluation, especially in large urban areas and/or megacities. In 2000, the World Health Organization published the document, “The Right to Healthy Indoor Air,” where the indoor air is recognized as fundamental human right. People spend a lot of time in indoor, e.g., in offices, laboratories, buildings, etc. Consequently, indoor pollution can cause side effects ranging from discomfort to severe sensory consequences on health. Simultaneously, evaluating indoor air quality while performing a proper evaluation of the outdoor air quality is important. Evaluations should account for air pollutant emission controls and the reduction or elimination of some pollutants in fuels. Such evaluations should also identify the maximum permitted concentrations of and significant reductions of certain contaminants in the environment.

A big issue in indoor measurements concerns the sampling procedures. This Special Issue proposes a master protocol for analyzing gaseous and particle pollutants in indoor environments. Further, particular attention will be devoted to both residential and occupational aspects, whereas in outdoor air quality evaluations, strong consideration will be given to studies discussing background (e.g., remote places, rural areas) and urban (e.g., big cities, megacities) measurements (inorganic and/or organic fractions). Papers concerning long-time measurements will be preferred. Papers reporting new methodologies of observation and/or models for interpreting atmospheric pollution (gaseous and/or particulate matter) episodes will also be preferred. Finally, a particular focus will be on the nanoparticles/ultrafine particles in both the (residential and industrial) indoors and outdoors.

Manuscripts on all aspects of Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality are welcome for this Special Issue.

Dr. Pasquale Avino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Air Pollution Exposure Information for Health Studies
Environmental Consultant, Greenport, New York, NY 11944, USA
Atmosphere 2015, 6(11), 1736-1752; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6111736 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Most studies of air pollution health effects are based on outdoor ambient exposures, mainly because of the availability of population-based data and the need to support emission control programs. However, there is also a large body of literature on indoor air quality that [...] Read more.
Most studies of air pollution health effects are based on outdoor ambient exposures, mainly because of the availability of population-based data and the need to support emission control programs. However, there is also a large body of literature on indoor air quality that is more relevant to personal exposures. This assessment attempts to merge these two aspects of pollution-related health effects, emphasizing fine particles. However, the basic concepts are applicable to any pollutant. The objectives are to examine sensitivities of epidemiological studies to the inclusion of personal exposure information and to assess the resulting data requirements. Indoor air pollution results from penetration of polluted outdoor air and from various indoor sources, among which environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is probably the most toxic and pervasive. Adequate data exist on infiltration of outdoor air but less so for indoor sources and effects, all of which have been based on surveys of small samples of individual buildings. Since epidemiology is based on populations, these data must be aggregated using probabilistic methods. Estimates of spatial variation and precision of ambient air quality are also needed. Hypothetical personal exposures in this paper are based on ranges in outdoor air quality, variable infiltration rates, and ranges of indoor source strength. These uncertainties are examined with respect to two types of mortality studies: time series analysis of daily deaths in a given location, and cross-sectional analysis of annual mortality rates among locations. Regressions of simulated mortality on personal exposures, as affected by all of these uncertainties, are used to examine effects on dose-response functions using quasi-Monte Carlo methods. The working hypothesis is that indoor sources are reasonably steady over time and thus applicable only to long-term cross-sectional studies. Uncertainties in exposure attenuate the simulated mortality regression coefficients; correlations between “true” and hypothesized exposures are used to compare their effects. For a given exposure uncertainty level, attenuation of regression coefficients is similar for both types of simulated mortality studies, but since cross-sectional studies involve indoor sources they are more sensitive, to the point where regression coefficients may be driven to zero. The most pressing need for confirming data is the distribution of indoor sources among cities, especially for ETS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Internal Combustion Engines as the Main Source of Ultrafine Particles in Residential Neighborhoods: Field Measurements in the Czech Republic
1 Institute for Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benatska 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
2 Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic v.v.i., Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic
3 Department of Vehicles and Engines, Technical University of Liberec, Studentska 2, 461 17 Liberec, Czech Republic
4 Department of Energy Engineering, Technical University of Liberec, Studentska 2, 461 17 Liberec, Czech Republic
5 Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic v.v.i., Rozvojova 2/135, 165 02 Praha 6, Czech Republic
6 Department of Automotive, Combustion Engine and Railway Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Technicka 4, 166 07 Prague, Czech Republic
Atmosphere 2015, 6(11), 1714-1735; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6111714 - 05 Nov 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
Ultrafine particles (UFP, diameter < 100 nm) exposure has already been associated with adverse effects on human health. Spatial distribution of UFP is non-uniform; they concentrate in the vicinity of the source, e.g. traffic, because of their short lifespan. This work investigates spatial [...] Read more.
Ultrafine particles (UFP, diameter < 100 nm) exposure has already been associated with adverse effects on human health. Spatial distribution of UFP is non-uniform; they concentrate in the vicinity of the source, e.g. traffic, because of their short lifespan. This work investigates spatial distribution of UFP in three areas in the Czech Republic with different traffic load: High traffic (Prague neighborhood—Sporilov), commuter road vicinity (Libeznice), and a small city with only local traffic (Celakovice). Size-resolved measurements of particles in the 5–500 nm range were taken with a particle classifier mounted, along with batteries, GPS and other accessories, on a handcart and pushed around the areas, making one-minute or longer stops at places of interest. Concentrations along main roads were elevated in comparison with places farther from the road; this pattern was observed in all sites, while particle number distributions both close and away from main roads had similar patterns. The absence of larger particles, the relative absence of higher concentrations of particles away from the main roads, and similar number distributions suggest that high particle number concentrations cannot be readily attributed to sources other than internal combustion engines in vehicles and mobile machinery (i.e., mowers and construction machines). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Exposure Assessment of Allergens and Metals in Settled Dust in French Nursery and Elementary Schools
1 Instituto Superior Técnico, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada Nacional 10, Bobadela 2695-066, Portugal
2 CSTB-Scientific and Technical Building Centre, Paris Est University, 84 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 77447 Marne la Vallée Cedex 2, France
Atmosphere 2015, 6(11), 1676-1694; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6111676 - 05 Nov 2015
Cited by 7
Abstract
The aim of this study was to characterise the contamination in settled dust in French classrooms and to provide an overview of the influencing factors of dust contamination. Cat, dog and dust mite allergens and metals were measured in 51 classrooms at 17 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to characterise the contamination in settled dust in French classrooms and to provide an overview of the influencing factors of dust contamination. Cat, dog and dust mite allergens and metals were measured in 51 classrooms at 17 schools. The concentrations of pet allergens in settled dust were generally low (mean value of 0.1 µg·g−1), with carpeted and rug-covered floors presenting higher dust and cat allergen concentrations. The highest metal loadings in dust were observed for manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu), while the lead (Pb) loadings were lower (16 ± 19 µg·m−2) and fell below the French guideline. Higher metal leachability was found for cadmium (Cd), Cu, Pb and strontium (Sr) at values of approximately 80%, which suggest that, in cases of dust ingestion by children, a large proportion should be assimilated through the gastro-intestinal tract. The intra-classroom and intra-school variabilities of the metal concentrations in settled dust were lower than the variability between schools. Classrooms with tiled floors had higher Pb loadings than classrooms with wood or vinyl floors. In addition, wet cleaning less than once a week resulted in greater loadings of Cu and Pb in the settled dust. Lastly, enrichment factors showed that metals in settled dust of classrooms were not only from the contribution of the natural background concentrations in soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Indoor Air Quality in Naturally Ventilated Italian Classrooms
1 Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino (FR) 03043, Italy
2 International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (QLD) 4001, Australia
3 Center of Health Sciences and Sport, Santa Catarina State University, Florianopolis 88080-350, Brazil
Atmosphere 2015, 6(11), 1652-1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6111652 - 02 Nov 2015
Cited by 26
Abstract
Characterization of indoor air quality in school classrooms is crucial to children’s health and performance. The present study was undertaken to characterize the indoor air quality in six naturally ventilated classrooms of three schools in Cassino (Italy). Indoor particle number, mass, black carbon, [...] Read more.
Characterization of indoor air quality in school classrooms is crucial to children’s health and performance. The present study was undertaken to characterize the indoor air quality in six naturally ventilated classrooms of three schools in Cassino (Italy). Indoor particle number, mass, black carbon, CO2 and radon concentrations, as well as outdoor particle number were measured within school hours during the winter and spring season. The study found the concentrations of indoor particle number were influenced by the concentrations in the outdoors; highest BC values were detected in classrooms during peak traffic time. The effect of different seasons’ airing mode on the indoor air quality was also detected. The ratio between indoor and outdoor particles was of 0.85 ± 0.10 in winter, under airing conditions of short opening window periods, and 1.00 ± 0.15 in spring when the windows were opened for longer periods. This was associated to a higher degree of penetration of outdoor particles due to longer period of window opening. Lower CO2 levels were found in classrooms in spring (908 ppm) than in winter (2206 ppm). Additionally, a greater reduction in radon concentrations was found in spring. In addition, high PM10 levels were found in classrooms during break time due to re-suspension of coarse particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrafine Particles in Residential Indoors and Doses Deposited in the Human Respiratory System
1 Department of Technological Innovations, National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work Research Area, via IV Novembre 144, I-00187 Rome, Italy
2 Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, National Research Council, Rome Research Area-Montelibretti, I-00016 Monterotondo Scalo, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Atmosphere 2015, 6(10), 1444-1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6101444 - 30 Sep 2015
Cited by 12
Abstract
Indoor aerosol sources may significantly contribute to the daily dose of particles deposited into the human respiratory system. Therefore, it is important to characterize the aerosols deriving from the operations currently performed in an indoor environment and also to estimate the relevant particle [...] Read more.
Indoor aerosol sources may significantly contribute to the daily dose of particles deposited into the human respiratory system. Therefore, it is important to characterize the aerosols deriving from the operations currently performed in an indoor environment and also to estimate the relevant particle respiratory doses. For this aim, aerosols from indoor combustive and non-combustive sources were characterized in terms of aerosol size distributions, and the relevant deposition doses were estimated as a function of time, particle diameter and deposition site in the respiratory system. Ultrafine particles almost entirely made up the doses estimated. The maximum contribution was due to particles deposited in the alveolar region between the 18th and the 21st airway generation. When cooking operations were performed, respiratory doses per unit time were about ten-fold higher than the relevant indoor background dose. Such doses were even higher than those associated with outdoor traffic aerosol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition of Indoor and Outdoor PM2.5 in Three Schools in the City of Rome
by Luca Tofful 1,2,* and Cinzia Perrino 2
1 Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2 National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Via Salaria Km. 29.300, Monterotondo St., 00015 Rome, Italy
Atmosphere 2015, 6(10), 1422-1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6101422 - 30 Sep 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
In Italy, children spend up to 30% of their time in school institutions; for this reason, the evaluation of indoor air quality in schools constitutes a necessary step forward in the direction of child health protection. In this study, we investigated the [...] Read more.
In Italy, children spend up to 30% of their time in school institutions; for this reason, the evaluation of indoor air quality in schools constitutes a necessary step forward in the direction of child health protection. In this study, we investigated the chemical composition of PM2.5 collected simultaneously indoor and outdoor in three primary schools in Rome. Seasonal variations between winter and spring/summer were evaluated, as well as the role of the main macro-sources of PM (soil, sea, traffic, secondary inorganics and organics). During winter periods, characterized by strong atmospheric stability, the main contributors were organics and combustion products, which accounted for more than 70% of the total mass both indoor and outdoor. Spring/summer period was characterized by very low outdoor concentrations (12 μg/m3 on average) and by a more balanced contribution of organic, traffic and secondary inorganic components. Indoor, the contribution of soil-related species from re-suspension of settled dust and secondary inorganic species from outdoor photochemical reactions became significant. Given that several indoor exceedances of the international air quality standards for PM2.5 were recorded during the most polluted days, the infiltration of outdoor air, due to the inadequate construction characteristics of the buildings and the absence of automated air filtration systems, seemed to be the main causes of the high PM concentrations measured indoor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Standard Nomenclature for Air Pollution (SNAP) Categories on Air Quality over Europe
1 Environmental Research Laboratory, NCSR Demokritos, 15310 Athens, Greece
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Macedonia, 50100 Kozani, Greece
Atmosphere 2015, 6(8), 1119-1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6081119 - 31 Jul 2015
Cited by 7
Abstract
The contribution of different anthropogenic source-sectors on ozone mixing ratios and PM2.5 concentrations over Europe is assessed for a summer month (July 2006) using the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Models-3 framework and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) anthropogenic [...] Read more.
The contribution of different anthropogenic source-sectors on ozone mixing ratios and PM2.5 concentrations over Europe is assessed for a summer month (July 2006) using the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Models-3 framework and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) anthropogenic emissions for 2006. Anthropogenic emission sources have been classified into 10 different Standard Nomenclature for Air Pollution (SNAP) categories. The road transport category, which is mainly responsible for NOX emissions, is estimated to have the major impact on Max8hrO3 mixing ratio suggesting an increase of 6.8% on average over Europe, while locally it is more than 20%. Power generation category is estimated to have the major impact on PM2.5 concentrations since it is the major source of SO2 emissions, suggesting an increase of 22.9% on average over Europe, while locally it is more than 60%. Agriculture category is also contributing significantly on PM2.5 concentrations, since agricultural activities are the major source of NH3 emissions, suggesting an increased by 16.1% on average over Europe, while in regions with elevated NH3 emissions the increase is up to 40%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Insights into Indoor/Outdoor PM Concentration Ratios due to Dust Storms in an Arid Region
1 Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
2 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
Atmosphere 2015, 6(7), 879-890; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6070879 - 25 Jun 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
Dust storms have impacts on both human and physical environments, associated with an increase in atmospheric particulate matter (PM) concentrations. Most studies on exposure to PM have focused on the outdoor air, while information on indoor pollution, is still lacking. The aim of [...] Read more.
Dust storms have impacts on both human and physical environments, associated with an increase in atmospheric particulate matter (PM) concentrations. Most studies on exposure to PM have focused on the outdoor air, while information on indoor pollution, is still lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of desert dust events on PM concentrations in indoor environments. A total of over 200 real time measurements of PM were conducted in houses in the Negev Desert during dust storms. Indoor and outdoor PM concentrations were characterized, as well as the relationships between the two datasets. The findings indicated that atmospheric PM10 concentrations can increase from 20–120 μg·m−3 on non-dust days to more than 1500 μg·m−3 during dust events. Indoor concentrations can reach as high as 1000 μg·m−3. The calculated indoor/outdoor (I/O) PM ratio ranged from 0.79 for low-level storms to 0.58 during stronger events. Indoor PM concentrations were found to be dependent on the dust storm intensity (low, medium, high) and duration with a time lag. The information obtained in this study is critical for assessment of policy interventions to reduce exposure risk and health effects due dust storms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Gaseous Products of Incense Coil Combustion Extracted by Passive Solid Phase Microextraction Samplers
1 Department of Occupational Safety and Hygiene, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung City 83102, Taiwan
2 Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung City 83102, Taiwan
Atmosphere 2015, 6(6), 822-833; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6060822 - 16 Jun 2015
Cited by 4
Abstract
Burning incense indoors is a common behavior in Southeast Asia. In this investigation, needle trap samplers (NTS), a novel, green analytical technology is used for sampling gaseous combustion by-products from sandalwood incense coils. To extract indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs), two NTS are [...] Read more.
Burning incense indoors is a common behavior in Southeast Asia. In this investigation, needle trap samplers (NTS), a novel, green analytical technology is used for sampling gaseous combustion by-products from sandalwood incense coils. To extract indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs), two NTS are prepared, one using 60–80 mesh and the other using 100–120 mesh divinylbenzene (DVB) particles packed in 22-gauge stainless steel needles. This work compares extraction efficiency of an NTS and that of a commercially available 100 μm polydimethylsiloxane solid phase microextration (PDMS-SPME) fiber sampler. Experimental results indicated that the 100–120 mesh DVB-NTS performed best among all samplers during a 1 h sampling period. The main extracted compounds were toluene, ethylbenzene, propane, chloromethane, 1,3-butadiene, methanol and dichloromethane. The potential use of small badge-sized or pen-sized NTS for the indoor atmosphere and occupational hygiene applications is addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Statistical Modeling Approaches for PM10 Prediction in Urban Areas; A Review of 21st-Century Studies
1 Institut für Meteorologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Carl-Heinrich-Becker-Weg 6-10, Berlin 12165, Germany
2 Remote Sensing Research Center, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran 1458889694, Iran
Atmosphere 2016, 7(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7020015 - 26 Jan 2016
Cited by 34
Abstract
PM10 prediction has attracted special legislative and scientific attention due to its harmful effects on human health. Statistical techniques have the potential for high-accuracy PM10 prediction and accordingly, previous studies on statistical methods for temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal prediction of PM [...] Read more.
PM10 prediction has attracted special legislative and scientific attention due to its harmful effects on human health. Statistical techniques have the potential for high-accuracy PM10 prediction and accordingly, previous studies on statistical methods for temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal prediction of PM10 are reviewed and discussed in this paper. A review of previous studies demonstrates that Support Vector Machines, Artificial Neural Networks and hybrid techniques show promise for suitable temporal PM10 prediction. A review of the spatial predictions of PM10 shows that the LUR (Land Use Regression) approach has been successfully utilized for spatial prediction of PM10 in urban areas. Of the six introduced approaches for spatio-temporal prediction of PM10, only one approach is suitable for high-resolved prediction (Spatial resolution < 100 m; Temporal resolution ≤ 24 h). In this approach, based upon the LUR modeling method, short-term dynamic input variables are employed as explanatory variables alongside typical non-dynamic input variables in a non-linear modeling procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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Open AccessReview
An Overview of Particulate Matter Measurement Instruments
1 Department of Energy, UNESP—Univ Estadual Paulista, Guaratinguetá , SP 12516-410, Brazil
2 Department of Biochemistry and Chemical Technology, Institute of Chemistry, UNESP—Univ Estadual Paulista, Araraquara, SP 14800-060, Brazil
3 Department of Logistic, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo, Jacareí, SP 12322-030, Brazil
Atmosphere 2015, 6(9), 1327-1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6091327 - 09 Sep 2015
Cited by 46
Abstract
This review article presents an overview of instruments available on the market for measurement of particulate matter. The main instruments and methods of measuring concentration (gravimetric, optical, and microbalance) and size distribution Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI), and [...] Read more.
This review article presents an overview of instruments available on the market for measurement of particulate matter. The main instruments and methods of measuring concentration (gravimetric, optical, and microbalance) and size distribution Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI), and others were described and compared. The aim of this work was to help researchers choose the most suitable equipment to measure particulate matter. When choosing a measuring instrument, a researcher must clearly define the purpose of the study and determine whether it meets the main specifications of the equipment. ELPI and SMPS are the suitable devices for measuring fine particles; the ELPI works in real time. In health-related studies, a Diffusion Charger is the instrument that best characterizes the surface of ultrafine particles. Several methods and different particle measuring instruments should be used to confirm the values obtained during sampling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
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