U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Source apportionment of indoor PM10 in Elderly Care Centre

M. Almeida-Silva, T. Faria, D. Saraga, T. Maggos, H. T. Wolterbeek, S. M. Almeida
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.8 pp. 7814-7827
air quality, airports, antimony, autumn, calcium, carbon, chemical analysis, cold, elderly, gravimetry, highways, ion exchange chromatography, ions, iron, neutron activation analysis, particulates, people, principal component analysis, samplers, winter, zinc
Source contribution to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has been exhaustively modelled. However, people spend most of their time indoors where this approach is less explored. This evidence worsens considering elders living in Elderly Care Centres, since they are more susceptible. The present study aims to investigate the PM composition and sources influencing elderly exposure. Two 2-week sampling campaigns were conducted—one during early fall (warm phase) and another throughout the winter (cold phase). PM10 were collected with two TCR-Tecora® samplers that were located in an Elderly Care Centre living room and in the correspondent outdoor. Chemical analysis of the particles was performed by neutron activation analysis for element characterization, by ion chromatography for the determination of water soluble ions and by a thermal optical technique for the measurement of organic and elemental carbon. Statistical analysis showed that there were no statistical differences between seasons and environments. The sum of the indoor PM10 components measured in this work explained 57 and 53 % of the total PM10 mass measured by gravimetry in warm and cold campaigns, respectively. Outdoor PM10 concentrations were significantly higher during the day than night (p value < 0.05), as well as Ca²⁺, Fe, Sb and Zn. The contribution of indoor and outdoor sources was assessed by principal component analysis and showed the importance of the highways and the airport located less than 500 m from the Elderly Care Centre for both indoor and outdoor air quality.