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Sensors (Basel). 2018 Dec 7;18(12). pii: E4314. doi: 10.3390/s18124314.

Spatial-Temporal Analysis of PM2.5 and NO₂ Concentrations Collected Using Low-Cost Sensors in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico.

Author information

1
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA. reece.stephen@epa.gov.
2
National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA. Williams.ronald@epa.gov.
3
National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA. colon.maribel@epa.gov.
4
DISUR, Inc., Ponce, PR 00716, USA. dsouthgate@disur.org.
5
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, Guaynabo, PR 00968-8069, USA. Huertas.evelyn@epa.gov.
6
Region 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866, USA. Oshea.marie@epa.gov.
7
Region 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866, USA. Iglesias.ariel@epa.gov.
8
Region 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Edison, NJ 08837-3679, USA. Sheridan.patricia@epa.gov.

Abstract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is involved in the discovery, evaluation, and application of low-cost air quality (AQ) sensors to support citizen scientists by directly engaging with them in the pursuit of community-based interests. The emergence of low-cost (<$2500) sensors have allowed a wide range of stakeholders to better understand local AQ conditions. Here we present results from the deployment of the EPA developed Citizen Science Air Monitor (CSAM) used to conduct approximately five months (October 2016⁻February 2017) of intensive AQ monitoring in an area of Puerto Rico (Tallaboa-Encarnación, Peñuelas) with little historical data on pollutant spatial variability. The CSAMs were constructed by combining low-cost particulate matter size fraction 2.5 micron (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) sensors and distributed across eight locations with four collocated weather stations to measure local meteorological parameters. During this deployment 1 h average concentrations of PM2.5 and NO₂ ranged between 0.3 to 33.6 µg/m³ and 1.3 to 50.6 ppb, respectively. Peak concentrations were observed for both PM2.5 and NO₂ when conditions were dominated by coastal-originated winds. These results advanced the community's understanding of pollutant concentrations and trends while improving our understanding of the limitations and necessary procedures to properly interpret measurements produced by low-cost sensors.

KEYWORDS:

Low-cost sensors; Puerto Rico; air quality; citizen science

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