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Inhal Toxicol. 1999 Feb;11(2):151-69.

Comparison of particle lung doses from the fine and coarse fractions of urban PM-10 aerosols.

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Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Mumbai, 400 076, India.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised the national ambient air quality standards to include a new PM-2.5 particulate standard. We examine the contributions of fine (PM-2.5) and coarse (PM-2.5 to -10) fraction of typical urban aerosols to particle doses in different lung airways resulting from 24-h exposure to the standard concentration of 150 microg m-3. The aerosol is assumed to have a bimodal lognormal mass distribution with mass median diameters of 0.2 and 5 microm, and geometric standard deviation of 1.7 and 57% of the mass in the fine (PM-2.5) mode. The daily mass dose from exposure to 150 microg m-3 of PM-10 in the nasopharyngeal (NPL) region is 20-51 microg day-1 (1.5% of inhaled fines) and 377-687 microg day-1 (30% of inhaled coarse), respectively, of fine and coarse mass filtered in the nose. Similar daily mass doses from fine and coarse fractions, respectively, to the tracheobronchial (TBL) region are 28-38 (1.5%) and 40-52 (4%) microg day-1 and to the pulmonary (PUL) region are 18-194 (6%) and 32-55 microg day-1 (2%). The daily number dose in the NPL region is 5-15 x 10(8) (0.06% of inhaled fines) and 5-10 x 10(6) day-1 (13% of inhaled coarse) respectively, of fine and coarse particles. Similar number doses to the TBL region are 2.2-3.1 x 10(10) (2%) and 7.1-11. 1 x 10(5) (2%) day-1 and to the PUL region are 1.6-16.7 x 10(10) (9%) and 2.9-17.0 x 10(5) (3%) day-1. The daily surface mass dose (microg cm-2 day-1) from coarse fraction particles is large in generations 3-5. The daily number dose (particles day-1) and surface number dose (particles cm-2 day-1) are higher from the fine than the coarse fraction, by about 10(3) to 10(5) times in all lung airways. Fine fraction particles result in 10,000 times greater particle number dose per macrophage than coarse fraction particles. Particle number doses do not follow trends in mass doses, are much larger from fine than coarse fraction, and must be considered in assessing PM health effects. For the assumed fine fraction ratio of 0.57, the estimated increase in protection from the new PM-2.5 standards is a 25% and 47% lower dose, respectively, at the 24-h and annual standard in comparison with the respective PM-10 standards. The mass fraction in the fine mode depends upon the local sources, will vary with different extents of control of various source types, and will influence the choice of control strategy to meet the revised standard.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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