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Personal exposures and indoor, residential outdoor, and urban background levels of fine particle trace elements in the general population.

Journal article
Authors Peter Molnár
Sandra Johannesson
Johan Boman
Lars Barregård
Gerd Sällsten
Published in Journal of environmental monitoring
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages 543-51
ISSN 1464-0325
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Department of Chemistry
Pages 543-51
Language en
Keywords Air Movements, Air Pollutants, analysis, Air Pollution, Indoor, analysis, Environmental Monitoring, Housing, Humans, Particle Size, Spectrometry, Fluorescence, Trace Elements, analysis, Urban Health, Urban Population, X-Rays
Subject categories Physical Chemistry


Personal exposures and indoor, residential outdoor, and urban background levels of PM(2.5) and PM(1) were measured simultaneously in Göteborg, Sweden. A total of 270 24 hour samples from 30 subjects were analyzed for elemental concentrations using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy. Personal exposures to PM(2.5) were significantly higher for Cl, Ca, Ti, and Fe compared with the other locations. For most elements, residential outdoor levels were significantly higher than urban background levels. Correlations between personal exposure and stationary measurements were moderate to high for Zn, Br, and Pb (r(s)= 0.47-0.81), while Ca and Cu showed low correlations. The penetration indoors from outdoors was 0.7, as calculated from S and Pb ratios. For the pairs of parallel PM(1) and PM(2.5) measurements, only Ca and Fe levels were significantly lower for PM(1) at all sites. Significant correlations were found between urban background mass concentrations and personal exposure levels for elements attributed to combustion processes (S, V, and Pb) and resuspended dust (Ti, Fe, and Zn), indicating that both sources could be relevant to health effects related to urban background mass. Air mass origin strongly affected the measured urban background concentrations of some elements (S, Cl, V, Ni, Br, and Pb). These findings were also seen for personal exposure (S, Cl, V, and Pb) and indoor levels (S, Cl, V, Ni, and Pb). No differences were seen for crustal elements. Air mass origin should be taken into account in the description and interpretation of time series studies of air pollution and health.

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