Coal, Emissions, Gas, O&M

Study tries to find origin sources of particulate matter

EPRI CARB ultrafine particulate matter

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a new study by the University of California-Davis that attempts to identify the source origin of ultrafine airborne particulate matter.

The particles come from different sources, including traffic, industrial processes, gas- and coal-fired power plants and wood-burning fireplaces. They combine in the atmosphere and are affected by sunlight and other meteorological variables, the study says. That makes it difficult to determine which compounds in particulates are responsible for specific health effects and which source they came from.

The study also said that fine and ultrafine particles were more potent inducers of adverse health effects than bigger ones, and different samples had different levels of toxicity.

The air samples were collected in Fresno, Calif. Researchers used a single particle mass spectrometer and 10 particle samplers to analyze and separate ambient particles according to their source by inspecting their chemical composition.

To read the full study, click here.

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