Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Hyun-Min Hwang - Texas Southern University
Co-Author(s): Allen White, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
Fine atmospheric particulate matter (PM2.5), which is produced from combustion of organic matter (e.g., fossil fuels and wood) and some industrial processes, can reach deep parts of lungs and reside longer than bigger particulate matter. After the implementation of Clean Air Act, PM2.5 concentrations in the ambient air have declined substantially. However, some areas in some communities in downtown or near point sources such as refineries, cargo train stations in Houston may ambient air quality standard significantly. Current stationary air monitoring system may not be able to represent these small scale problems. Portable PM sensors can be used as screening tools to find problematic areas that need further investigation. Atmospheric PM2.5 concentrations were measured at various sites using a portable aerosol monitor (Dust Track DRX 8533EP). Daytime PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the standard frequently at a downtown site near a heavy traffic road and in areas near metal recycling facility, cargo train station, and refineries. This study indicates that utilization of a portable sensor can be an effective real-time atmospheric PM monitoring in areas that cannot be covered by stationary monitoring network.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF HBCU-UP RISE (1345173)
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,