OSU Determining the Effect of Wildfires on Indoor Air Quality Paper Project

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Background: The wildfires in Oregon in September created hazardous air days in the Corvallis area. Many people were advised to stay indoors to protect themselves from the air pollution. But was the indoor air quality any better?

To address this question, 4 air samples were collected using the UPAS V2 Personal Aerosol Sampler on September 10-11, 2020 in Corvallis, Oregon when the town was inundated by wildfire smoke. The samplers collected fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Two sets of paired samples (indoor and outdoor) were taken with different sampler settings (cycling and no-cycling). Cycling is a technique by which the sampler turns on and off every 30 seconds. This is to prevent the filter from becoming overloaded (e.g. clogged) during high concentration events and to prolong the battery life of the sampler. Overloaded filters compromise the air flow through the filter and subsequently will not provide an accurate measurement (e.g. tend to under-estimate the actual concentration). The data from these samples is presented in Table 1.

The UPAS V2 Personal Aerosol Sampler is a new, low cost sensor that was designed to support citizen science projects. It uses gravimetric methodology and cyclones to collect particulate matter on a filter. Since it is new technology, it was been tested against EPA reference method samplers for gravimetric analysis of PM2.5 across a broad range of concentrations (Volckens et al. (2017) Development and evaluation of an ultrasonic personal aerosol sampler. Indoor Air, 27(2):409-416.)

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