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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2011 Sep;61(9):914-22.

Winter and summer characteristics of airborne particles inside emperor Qin's Terra-Cotta Museum, China: a study by scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry.

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SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China.


Day- and nighttime total suspended particulate matter was collected inside and outside Emperor Qin's Terra-Cotta Museum in winter and summer 2008. The purpose was to characterize the winter and summer differences of indoor airborne particles in two display halls with different architectural and ventilation conditions, namely the Exhibition Hall and Pit No. 1. The morphology and elemental composition of two season samples were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry. It is found that the particle size, particle mass concentration, and particle type were associated with the visitor numbers in the Exhibition Hall and with the natural ventilation in Pit No. 1 in both winter and summer. Evident winter and summer changes in the composition and physicochemical properties of the indoor suspended particulate matters were related to the source emission and the meteorological conditions. Particle mass concentrations in both halls were higher in winter than in summer. In winter, the size of the most abundant particles at the three sites were all between 0.5 and 1.0 microm, whereas in summer the peaks were all located at less than 0.5 microm. The fraction of sulfur-containing particles was 2-7 times higher in winter than in summer. In addition to the potential soiling hazard, the formation and deposition of sulfur-containing particles in winter may lead to the chemical and physical weathering of the surfaces of the terra-cotta statues.

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