Particulate matter and gaseous pollutants in residences in Antwerp, Belgium
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
The science of the total environment. - Amsterdam
, p. 1182-1192
University of Antwerp
This comprehensive study, a first in Flanders, Belgium, aimed at characterizing the residential indoor air quality of subgroups that took part in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS I1991 and ECHRS II1996) questionnaire-based asthma and related illnesses studies. This pilot study aimed at the evaluation of particulate matter and various inorganic gaseous compounds in residences in Antwerp. In addition personal exposure to the gaseous compounds of one individual per residence was assessed. The main objective was to obtain some base-line pollutant levels and compare these with studies performed in other cities, to estimate the indoor air quality in residences in Antwerp. Correlations between the various pollutant levels, indoor:outdoor ratios and the micro-environments of each residence were investigated. This paper presents results on indoor and ambient PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations, its elemental composition in terms of K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Br, Pb, Al, Si, S and Cl and the water-soluble ionic concentrations in terms of SO42−, NO32−, Cl−, NH4+ K+, Ca2+. In addition, indoor, ambient and personal exposure levels of the gases NO2, SO2, and O3 were determined. Elevated indoor:outdoor ratios were found for NO2 in residences containing gas stoves. In smoker's houses increased PM concentrations of 58 and 43% were found for the fine and coarse fractions respectively. Contrary to the fact that all I/O ratios of the registered elements in each individual house were significantly correlated to each other, no correlation could be established between the I/O ratios of the different houses, thus indicating a unique micro-environment for each residence. Linear relationships between the particulate matter elemental composition, SO2 and O3 levels indoors and outdoors could be established. No linear relationships between indoor and outdoor NO2 and particulate mass concentrations were found.