Concentrations of Combustion Particulates in Outdoor and Indoor Environments

  • Alfred H. Lowrey
  • Lance A. Wallace
  • Sándor Kántor
  • James L. Repace


Human exposure to combustion particulates is a risk imposed on society justified by the need for the beneficial uses of energy. The respiratory system is the major route for this exposure in the form of airborne suspensions (aerosols) of these particles (U.S. EPA, 1982). Like Prometheus (Fig. 1), we find ourselves chained to the rock of the essential benefits of combustion while at the same time suffering the deterioration of the internal human systems necessary for life support. It is common knowledge that particle exposure, particularly from combustion, is a source of lung disease. In broad terms, outdoor particulates exhibit a bimodal size distribution ((U.S. EPA, 1986a) consisting of fine particles (less than 2.5 μm in diameter, with peak size concentration about 0.9 p.m) and coarse particles (> 2.5 μm in diameter with peak concentrations in the size range of 10-20 μ.m). Figure 2 illustrates this distribution, indicating some of the common constituents in each size range. The coarse particles include reentrained surface dust, salt spray, and particles formed by mechanical processes such as crushing and grinding. Particles from combustion general fall into the fine range and occur in two size categories: condensation nuclei and accumulation mode. The condensation nuclei are generally considered to range in size from 0.005 to 0.05 μm in diameter and result from cooling condensation of vapors or plasmas produced by high-temperature processes in combustion. Accumulation mode particles generally range from 0.5 to 2.0 μm in diameter and form principally by coagulation or are grown through vapor condensation of short-lived particles originally in the nuclei mode. Particles in the accumulation mode normally do not grow into the size range of the coarse mode ((U.S. EPA, 1986a). It is well known that fine particles evade the natural defenses of the human respiratory tract. Often this fraction of exposure is designated respirable suspended particulates (RSP) to distinguish this feature from exposure to the total quantity of suspended particulates (TSP). In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced new annual and 24-hour standards for particulate matter, using a new indicator, PM10, that includes only those particles with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 10 μm ((U.S. EPA, 1991). An additional measure, PM2.5, was also developed that includes only particles smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter.


Indoor Environment Environmental Tobacco Smoke Particulate Level Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Combustion Particulate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ASHRAE, 1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers.Google Scholar
  2. Austin, B. S., Greenfield, S. M., Weir, B. R., Anderson, G. E., and Behar, J. V., 1992, Modeling the indoor environment, Environ. Sci. Technol. 26(5):851–858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Axley, J., 1988, Progress toward a General Analytical Method for Predicting Indoor Air Pollution in Buildings, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  4. Bardeschi, A., Colucci, A., Gianelle, V, Gnagnetti, M., Tamponi, M., and Tebaldi, G., 1991, Analysis of the impact on air quality of motor vehicle traffic in the Milan urban area, Atmos. Environ. 25B: 415–428.Google Scholar
  5. Biersteker, K., DeGraaf, H., and Nass, C. A. G., 1965, Indoor air pollution in Rotterdam homes, Int. J. Air Water Pollut. 9:345–350.Google Scholar
  6. CEQ, 1989, Risk Analysis. Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President of the United States, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  7. Chuang, J. C., Cao, S. R., Xian, Y. L., Harris, D. B., and Mumford, J. L., 1992, Chemical characterizations of indoor air of homes from communes in Xuan Wei, China, with high lung cancer mortality rate, Atmos. Environ. 26A:2193–2201.Google Scholar
  8. Coghlin, J., Hammond, S. K., and Gann, P. H., 1989, Development of epidemiological tools for measuring environmental tobacco smoke, Am. J. Epidemiol. 130:606–704.Google Scholar
  9. Colome, S. D., Kado, N. Y., Jaques, P., and Kleinman, M., 1992, Indoor–outdoor air pollution’s relations, Atmos. Environ. 26A:2173–2178.Google Scholar
  10. Cox, C. S., 1987, The Aerobiological Pathway of Microorganisms, Wiley-Interscience, Chichester, England.Google Scholar
  11. Friedlander, S. K., 1977, Smoke, Dust and Haze, Wiley-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Garfinkel, L., 1980, Cancer mortality in nonsmokers, J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 65:1169–1173.Google Scholar
  13. Guerin, M. R., Jenkins, R. A., and Tomkins, B. A., 1992, The Chemistry of Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida.Google Scholar
  14. Hileman, B., 1991, Multiple chemical sensitivity, Chem. Eng. News 1991(July 22):26–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hirayama, T., 1981, Passive smoking and lung cancer, Br. Med. J. 282:1393–1394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. ICIAQ, 1992, Current Federal Indoor Air Quality Activities, Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality, United States Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  17. Jarvis, M. J., and Russell, M. H., 1985, Passive exposure to tobacco smoke, Br. Med. J. 291:1646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jenkins, P. L., Phillips, T. J., Mulberg, E. J., and Hui, S. P., 1992, Activity patterns of Californians: Use of and proximity to indoor pollutant sources, Atmos. Environ. 26A:2141–2148.Google Scholar
  19. Lappe, M., 1991, Chemical Deception, Sierra Club, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  20. Ligoki, M. P., Salmon, L. G., Fall, T., Jones, M. C., Nazaroff, W. W., and Case, Glen R., 1993, Characteristics of airborne particles inside southern California museums, Atmos. Environ. 27A:679–711.Google Scholar
  21. Lowrey, A. H., Kantor, S., and Repace, J. L., 1993, Outdoor and indoor respirable suspended particulates in Budapest, Hungary, Indoor Air `93, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  22. Nagda, N. L., Rector, H. E., and Koontz, M. D., 1987, Guidelines for Monitoring Indoor Air Quality, Hemisphere Publishing, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  23. NAPCA, 1969, Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, National Air Pollution Control Administration, Public Health Service, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  24. NRC, 1981, Indoor Pollutants, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  25. NRC, 1983, Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  26. NRC, 1989, Improving Risk Communication, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  27. NRC, 1992, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  28. OAR, 1988, The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  29. OAR, 1989, Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  30. OHEA, 1992, Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  31. Ott, W, 1988, Human Activity Pattern, Research Planning Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  32. Owen, M. K., Ensor, D. S., and Sparks, L. E., 1992, Airborne particle sizes and sources found in indoor air, Atmos. Environ. 26A:2149–2162.Google Scholar
  33. Parker, A., 1978, Industrial Air Pollution Handbook, McGraw-Hill, London.Google Scholar
  34. Pastuszka, J. S., 1993, Fibrous and particulate pollution of indoor air in Upper Silesia, Indoor Air `93, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  35. Pellizaari, E. D., Thomas, K. W., Clayton, C. A., Whitmore, R. W, Shores, R. C., Zelon, H. S., and Peritt, R. L., 1993, Particle Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (PTEAM): Riverside California Pilot Study, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  36. Raiyani, C. V., Shah, S. H., Desai, N. M., Venkaiah, K., Patel, J. S., Parikh, D. J., and Kashyap, S. K., 1993, Characterization and problems of indoor pollution due to cooking stove smoke, Atmos. Environ. 27A:1643–1655.Google Scholar
  37. Repace, J. L., 1987, Indoor concentrations of environmental tobacco smoke: Models dealing with the effects of ventilation and room size, in Passive Smoking (I. K. O’Neill, K. B. Brunnemann, B. Dodet, and D. Hoffmann, eds.), World Health Organization, Lyon.Google Scholar
  38. Repace, J. L., and Lowrey, A. H., 1980, Indoor air pollution, tobacco smoke, and public health, Science 208:464–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Repace, J. L., and Lowrey, A. H., 1982, Tobacco smoke, ventilation and indoor air quality, ASHRAE Trans. 88(I):895–914.Google Scholar
  40. Repace, J. L., and Lowrey, A. H., 1985a, Quantitative estimate of nonsmokers lung cancer risk from passive smoking, Environ. Int. 11:3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Repace, J. L., and Lowrey, A. H., 1985b, Indoor air quality standard for ambient tobacco smoke based on carcinogenic risk, N.Y. State J. Med. 85:381–383.Google Scholar
  42. Repace, J. L., and Lowrey, A. H., 1990, Risk assessment methodologies for passive smoking-induced lung cancer, Risk Anal. 10(1):27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Repace, J. L., and Lowrey, A. H., 1993, An enforceable indoor air quality standard for environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace, Risk Anal. 13(4):443–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Repace, J. L., Ott, W. R., and Wallace, L. A., 1980, Total human exposure to air pollution, 73d Annual Meeting of the Air Pollution Control Association, Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  45. Rodricks, J. V., 1992, Calculated Risks, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  46. Schulze, R. H., 1993, The 20-year history of the evolution of air pollution control legislation in the USA, Atmos. Environ. 27B:15–22.Google Scholar
  47. Sparks, L., 1988, Indoor Air Quality Model Version 1.0, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  48. Spengler, J. D., Dockery, D. W, Turner, W. A., Wolfson, J. M., and Ferris, B. C., Jr., 1981, Long term measurements of respirable sulfates and particles inside and outside homes, Atmos. Environ. 15: 23–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Spengler, J. D., Reed, M. P., Lebret, E., Chang, B. H., Ware, J. H., Speizer, F E., and Ferris, B. G., Jr., 1986, Harvard’s indoor air pollution/health study, 79th Annual Meeting of the Air Pollution Control Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  50. Szalai, A., 1972, The Use of Time: Daily Activities of Urban and Suburban Populations in Twelve Countries, Moughton, The Hague.Google Scholar
  51. Telliard, W A., 1992, “EPA’s Environmental Monitoring Methods Index.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 27(1):39–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. U.S. EPA, 1982, Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides, Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  53. U.S. EPA, 1986a, Assessment of Newly Available Health Effects Information, Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  54. U.S. EPA, 1986b, Guidelines for carcinogen risk assessment, Federal Register 51:33992–34003.Google Scholar
  55. U.S. EPA, 1991, National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report 1989, Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  56. Wallace, L., Pellizzari, E., Sheldon, L., Whitmore, R., Zelon, H., Clayton, A., Shores, R., Thomas, K., Whitaker, D., Reading, P., Spengler, J., Ozkaynak, H., Froelich, S., Jenkins, P., Ota, L., and Westerdahl, D., 1991, The TEAM study of inhalable particulates, Paper presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Air and Waste Management Association, Vancouver, British Columbia.Google Scholar
  57. Wick, C. H., Edmonds, R. L., and Blew, J., 1994, Rapid detection and identification of background levels of airborne biological particles, ERDEC Technical Report TR-155, U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21010.Google Scholar
  58. Willeke, K. and Baron, P, 1993, Aerosol Measurement, van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.Google Scholar
  59. Yocum, J. E., Clink, W. L., and Cote, W. A., 1971, Indoor/outdoor air quality relationships, J. Air Pollut. Control Assoc. 21:251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred H. Lowrey
    • 1
  • Lance A. Wallace
    • 2
  • Sándor Kántor
    • 3
  • James L. Repace
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory for the Structure of MatterNaval Research LaboratoryUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory Atmospheric Research and Exposure AssessmentU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyWarrentonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical TechnologyBudapest Technical UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Office of Research and Development, Exposure Assessment DivisionU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyUSA

Personalised recommendations