Assessment of personal exposure to inhalable indoor and outdoor particulate matter for student residents of an academic campus (IIT-Kanpur).Inhal Toxicol. 2009 Dec; 21(14):1208-22.IT
Human exposure to particulate matter can have significant harmful effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular system. These effects vary with number, size, and chemical composition of particulate matter, which vary significantly with space and time. The Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IITK), Kanpur, India, is a relatively clean academic campus in the northwest of a heavily polluted city, Kanpur. The major objectives of the study were to evaluate total exposure of fine and coarse fractions of PM(10) to a typical IITK student resident in different indoor microenvironments within the campus; to evaluate personal exposure to student residents during outdoor trips; and to evaluate personal exposure to a typical student resident carrying out routine activities. In order to account for all the sources of particulate matter exposure, measurements on several different days during the pre-monsoon season were carried out in the most common indoor microenvironments in the campus and during outdoor trips outside the campus. A 15-channel optical particle counter (model 1.108, GRIMM) was used to measure continuous real-time particle size distribution from 0.3 to 20 microm diameter. Using this instrument, exposure for 1 h at different indoor microenvironments was determined. Both the effects of location and activity, which, in turn, account for specific indoor sources and number of occupants, respectively, were carefully evaluated. Re-suspension of particles due to movement of people was found to be a major source of coarse particulate matter exposure. On the other hand, combustion sources led to elevated fine particulate levels. Chalk dust was found to be the major source of fine particulate matter in classrooms. Similar results on other sources of particulate matter are discussed in the paper. To assess the personal average size resolved particulate exposure on a student making a day trip outside the campus, study trips to most common public places in the city in a commonly preferred vehicle were made. Striking correlations between sources/activities and increase in fine and/or coarse particle concentration were clearly visible. To investigate the daily personal exposure and its relation to the activities of a typical student residing in the campus, a 24-h exposure study was done on a student who maintained a time-activity diary. The results provide insight into possible sources and their interaction with human activities in modifying the human exposure levels. A comparison between different microenvironments has been attempted for the first time in an Indian scenario using a real-time aerosol measuring instrument.