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Environ Res. 2019 Aug;175:287-296. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.035. Epub 2019 May 23.

Seasonal characterization and dosimetry-assisted risk assessment of indoor particulate matter (PM10-2.5, PM2.5-0.25, and PM0.25) collected in different schools.

Author information

1
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Chemical Engineering Department, Environmental Analysis and Management Group, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007, Tarragona, Spain.
2
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Chemical Engineering Department, Environmental Analysis and Management Group, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007, Tarragona, Spain; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, IISPV, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain. Electronic address: joaquim.rovira@urv.cat.
3
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Chemical Engineering Department, Environmental Analysis and Management Group, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007, Tarragona, Spain; Laboratori d'Edafologia, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n, 08028, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
4
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, IISPV, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain.

Abstract

Inhalation of particulate matter (PM) has been linked to serious adverse health effects, such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. In the present study, coarse (PM10-2.5), accumulation mode (PM2.5-0.25), and quasi-ultrafine (PM0.25) particulates were collected inside twelve educative centers of Tarragona County (Catalonia, Spain) during two seasons (cold and warm). Chemical characterization of PM, as well as risk assessment were subsequently conducted in order to evaluate respiratory and digestive risks during school time for children. Levels and chemical composition of PM were very different among the 12 centers. Average PM levels were higher during the cold season, as well as the concentrations of most toxic metals. In most schools, PM levels were below the daily PM10 threshold established in the regulation (50 μg/m3), with the exception of school number 1 during the cold season. On average, and regardless of season, coarse PM was highly influenced by mineral matter, while organic matter and elemental carbon were prevalent in quasi-ultrafine PM. The concentrations of the toxic elements considered by the legislation (As, Cd, Pb, and Ni) were below their correspondent regulatory annual limits. Calculated risks were below the safety thresholds, being fine fractions (PM2.5-0.25 and PM0.25) the main contributors to both digestive and respiratory risks.

KEYWORDS:

Children risk assessment; Coarse PM; Indoor; Main components; Quasi-ultrafine PM; School

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