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Author(s): Klara Slezakova
Maria da Conceição Alvim Ferraz
Maria do Carmo Pereira
Title: Elemental characterization of indoor breathable particles at a Portuguese urban hospital
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Hospitals are a specific indoor environment with highly susceptible individuals for whom indoor air pollution represents additional health risks. Particulate matter (PM) is one of the most health-relevant indoor pollutants due to its association with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Particles can also act as a carrier for various harmful organisms present in the air of hospitals, thus leading to airborne transmission of infectious diseases. Thus, the objective of this study was to characterize indoor PM collected in a hospital in consideration of concentration, size distribution, and elemental composition. Emission sources of indoor PM were indentified and risks associated with indoor PM estimated. Sampling was performed at radiology ward of a Portuguese urban hospital where PM10, PM2.5, and PM1 were collected during a period of 4 wk; PM elemental composition was determined by proton-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) analysis. Data showed that indoor PM10 concentrations ranged from 13 to 58.8 mu g/m(3) and from 10.5 to 41.9 mu g/m(3) for PM2.5. Fine particles constituted 77% of PM10, indicating that PM2.5 made a significant contribution to indoor air quality at the hospital. PM1 ranged from 9.9 to 35.6 mu g/m(3), accounting for 93% of PM2.5. PIXE identified 21 elements in PM, including health-hazardous metals (manganese, iron, copper, and vanadium) and carcinogenic elements (nickel, chromium, arsenic, and lead). However, no significant indoor source of PM emissions was identified, while outdoor air was the major contributor of indoor particles. Further, no significant risks existed through PM10 inhalation for population at the respective hospital.
Subject: Ciências da saúde
Health sciences
Scientific areas: Ciências médicas e da saúde::Ciências da saúde
Medical and Health sciences::Health sciences
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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