Metrological performances of a diffusion charger particle counter for personal monitoring
Buonanno, Giorgio, Jayaratne, Rohan, Morawska, Lidia, & Stabile, Luca (2014) Metrological performances of a diffusion charger particle counter for personal monitoring. Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 14, pp. 156-167.
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Airborne particles have been shown to be associated with a wide range of adverse health effects, which has led to a recent increase in medical research to gain better insight into their health effects. However, accurate evaluation of the exposure-dose-response relationship is highly dependent on the ability to track actual exposure levels of people to airborne particles. This is quite a complex task, particularly in relation to submicrometer and ultrafine particles, which can vary quite significantly in terms of particle surface area and number concentrations. Therefore, suitable monitors that can be worn for measuring personal exposure to these particles are needed.
This paper presents an evaluation of the metrological performance of six diffusion charger sensors, NanoTracer (Philips Aerasense) monitors, when measuring particle number and surface area concentrations, as well as particle number distribution mean when compared to reference instruments. Tests in the laboratory (by generating monodisperse and polydisperse aerosols) and in the field (using natural ambient particles) were designed to evaluate the response of these devices under both steady-state and dynamics conditions.
Results showed that the NanoTracers performed well when measuring steady state aerosols, however they strongly underestimated actual concentrations during dynamic response testing. The field experiments also showed that, when the majority of the particles were smaller than 20 nm, which occurs during particle formation events in the atmosphere, the NanoTracer underestimated number concentration quite significantly. Even though the NanoTracer can be used for personal monitoring of exposure to ultrafine particles, it also has limitations which need to be considered in order to provide meaningful results.
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