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Wheeler A.J.,Health Canada | Wheeler A.J.,Edith Cowan University | Gibson M.D.,Dalhousie University | MacNeill M.,Health Canada | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology

Residential wood combustion is an important source of ambient air pollution, accounting for over 25% of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions in Canada. In addition to these ambient contributions, wood smoke pollutants can enter the indoor environment directly when loading or stoking stoves, resulting in a high potential for human exposure. A study of the effectiveness of air cleaners at reducing wood smoke-associated PM2.5 of indoor and outdoor origin was conducted in 31 homes during winter 2009-10. Day 1, the residents' wood burning appliance operated as usual with no air cleaner. Days 2 and 3, the wood burning appliance was not operational and the air cleaner was randomly chosen to operate in "filtration" or "placebo filtration" mode. When the air cleaner was operating, total indoor PM2.5 levels were significantly lower than on placebo filtration days (p = 0.0001) resulting in a median reduction of 52%. There was also a reduction in the median PM2.5 infiltration factor from 0.56 to 0.26 between these 2 days, suggesting the air cleaner was responsible for increased PM2.5 deposition on filtration days. Our findings suggest that the use of an air cleaner reduces exposure to indoor PM2.5 resulting from both indoor and ambient wood smoke sources. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

DeMaleki Z.,Carleton University | Lai E.P.C.,Carleton University | Dabek-Zlotorzynska E.,Carleton University | Dabek-Zlotorzynska E.,Air Quality Research Division
Journal of Separation Science

Molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) submicron particles were synthesized, using either ethylene glycol dimethacrylate or trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate as a cross-linker, specifically for recognition of 17β-estradiol (E2). HPLC with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FD) results showed that 90(±5)% of E2 bound onto these particles after 2 min of incubation, and 96(±3)% after long equilibrium. The binding capacity was 8(±3) μmol/g for MIP particles prepared using ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and 33-43(±8) μmol/g for using trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate. CE separation of MIP and non-imprinted polymer particles was successful when 50mM borate buffer (pH 8.5) containing 0.005% w/v EOTrol™ LN in reverse polarity (-30 kV) was used. The electrophoretic mobilities of MIP and non-imprinted polymer particles, together with dynamic light scattering measurement of particle sizes, allowed for an estimation of their surface charges. Automated injection of E2 and particles in mixture set a lower limit of 20(±1) s on incubation time for the study of fast binding kinetics. The presence of E2 and bisphenol A (BPA) together tested the selectivity of MIP particles, when the two compounds competed for available binding cavities or sites. Addition of E2 after BPA confirmed E2 occupation of the specific binding cavities, via displacement of BPA. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Source

Weichenthal S.,Water and Air Quality Bureau | Van Rijswijk D.,Water and Air Quality Bureau | Kulka R.,Water and Air Quality Bureau | You H.,Water and Air Quality Bureau | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Research

A large landfill fire occurred in Iqaluit, Canada in spring/summer 2014. Air quality data were collected to characterize emissions as well as potential threats to public health. Criteria pollutants were monitored (PM2.5, O3, NO2) along with dioxins/furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds. Median daily dioxin/furan concentrations were 66-times higher during active burning (0.2pg/m3 Toxic Equivalency Quotient (TEQ)) compared to after the fire was extinguished (0.003pg/m3 TEQ). Other pollutants changed less dramatically. Our findings suggest that airborne concentrations of potentially harmful substances may be elevated during landfill fires even when criteria air pollutants remain largely unchanged. © 2015. Source

Luo Y.,National Research Council Canada | Luo Y.,Air Quality Research Division | Dabek-Zlotorzynska E.,Air Quality Research Division | Celo V.,Air Quality Research Division | And 2 more authors.
Analytical Chemistry

High precision silver isotope ratios in environmental samples were determined by multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). Purification of Ag from sample matrixes was performed by a two stage tandem column setup with use of anion and cation exchange resin, sequentially. It was found that 1% HNO3 and 3% HCl was efficient to stabilize Ag in the final purified sample digests prior to MC-ICPMS determination. Pd at 2 μg g-1 was added to both sample and Ag standard solution as a common doping matrix as well as an internal standard for mass bias correction. Mass discrimination and instrument drift were corrected by a combination of internal normalization with Pd and standard-sample-standard bracketing, without assuming identical mass bias for Pd and Ag. NIST SRM 978a (silver isotopic standard reference material) was used for method validation and subjected to column separation and sample preparation processes. A value of -0.003 ± 0.010 % for δ107/109Ag (mean and 2SD, n = 4) was obtained, confirming accurate results can be obtained using the proposed method. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on δ107/109Ag variations in environmental samples. Significant differences in Ag isotope ratios were found among NIST SRM 978a standard, sediment CRM PACS-2, domestic sludge SRM 2781, industrial sludge 2782, and the fish liver CRM DOLT-4. The sediment CRM PACS-2 has a very small negative δ107/109Ag value of -0.025 ± 0.012 % (2SD, n = 4). The domestic sludge SRM 2781 has a negative δ107/109Ag value of -0.061 ± 0.010 % (2SD, n = 4), whereas industrial sludge SRM 2782 has a positive δ 107/109Ag value of +0.044 ± 0.014 % (2SD, n = 4), which may indicate the contribution of Ag from different anthropogenic inputs. DOLT-4 has a much larger negative value of -0.284 ± 0.014 % (2SD, n = 4), possibly caused by biological processes. These observations confirm that Ag isotope fractionation may provide a useful tool for fingerprinting sources of Ag in the environment and for studying a wide variety of chemical and biological processes in nature. High precision of better than ±0.015 % (2SD, n = 4) obtained in real sample matrixes makes the present method well suited for monitoring small Ag isotope fractionation in nature. © Published 2010 by the American Chemical Society. Source

Ervens B.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Ervens B.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Wang Y.,Arizona State University | Eagar J.,Arizona State University | And 4 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Cloud and fog droplets efficiently scavenge and process water-soluble compounds and, thus, modify the chemical composition of the gas and particle phases. The concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the aqueous phase reach concentrations on the order of ∼10 mgC L-1 which is typically on the same order of magnitude as the sum of inorganic anions. Aldehydes and carboxylic acids typically comprise a large fraction of DOC because of their high solubility. The dissolution of species in the aqueous phase can lead to (i) the removal of species from the gas phase preventing their processing by gas phase reactions (e.g., photolysis of aldehydes) and (ii) the formation of unique products that do not have any efficient gas phase sources (e.g., dicarboxylic acids). We present measurements of DOC and select aldehydes in fog water at high elevation and intercepted clouds at a biogenically-impacted location (Whistler, Canada) and in fog water in a more polluted area (Davis, CA). Concentrations of formaldehyde, glyoxal and methylglyoxal were in the micromolar range and comprised ≤2% each individually of the DOC. Comparison of the DOC and aldehyde concentrations to those at other locations shows good agreement and reveals highest levels for both in anthropogenically impacted regions. Based on this overview, we conclude that the fraction of organic carbon (dissolved and insoluble inclusions) in the aqueous phase of clouds or fogs, respectively, comprises 2-∼40% of total organic carbon. Higher values are observed to be associated with aged air masses where organics are expected to be more highly oxidised and, thus, more soluble. Accordingly, the aqueous/gas partitioning ratio expressed here as an effective Henry's law constant for DOC (KH*DOC) increases by an order of magnitude from 7 × 103 M atm-1 to 7 × 104 M atm -1 during the ageing of air masses. The measurements are accompanied by photochemical box model simulations. These simulations are used to contrast two scenarios, i.e., an anthropogenically vs. a more biogenically impacted one as being representative for Davis and Whistler, respectively. Since the simplicity of the box model prevents a fully quantitative prediction of the observed aldehyde concentrations, we rather use the model results to compare trends in aldehyde partitioning and ratios. They suggest that the scavenging of aldehydes by the aqueous phase can reduce HO2 gas phase levels significantly by two orders of magnitude due to a weaker net source of HO 2 production from aldehyde photolysis in the gas phase. Despite the high solubility of dicarbonyl compounds (glyoxal, methylglyoxal), their impact on the HO2 budget by scavenging is <10% of that of formaldehyde. The overview of DOC and aldehyde measurements presented here reveals that clouds and fogs can be efficient sinks for organics, with increasing importance in aged air masses. Even though aldehydes, specifically formaldehyde, only comprise ∼1% of DOC, their scavenging and processing in the aqueous phase might translate into significant effects in the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere. © Author(s) 2013. Source

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