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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2003 Jul;53(7):876-88.

Day-of-week patterns of particulate matter and its chemical components at selected sites in California.

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  • 1California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, California 95812, USA. nmotalle@arb.ca.gov


This paper analyzes day-of-week variations in concentrations of particulate matter (PM) in California. Because volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are not only precursors of ozone (O3) but also of secondary PM, it is useful to know whether the variations by day of week in these precursors are also evident in PM data. Concentrations of PM < or = 10 microm (PM10) and < or = 2.5 microm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) were analyzed. PM concentrations exhibit a general weekly pattern, with the maximum occurring late in the workweek and the minimum occurring on weekends (especially Sunday); however, this pattern does not prevail at all sites and areas. PM nitrate (NO3-) data from Size Selective Inlet (SSI) samplers in the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) tend to be somewhat lower on weekends compared with weekdays. During 1988-1991, the weekend average was lower than the weekday average at 8 of 13 locations, with an average decrease of 1%. During 1997-2000, the weekend average was lower than the weekday average at 10 of 13 locations, with an average decrease of 6%. The weekend averages are generally lower than weekday averages for sulfates, organic carbon, and elemental carbon. Because heavy-duty trucks typically represent a major source of elemental carbon, the weekend decrease in heavy-duty truck traffic may also result in a decrease in ambient elemental carbon concentrations.

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