A Study on the Concentration of Nanoparticles and Heavy Metals in Indoor/Outdoor Air in a University Administrative Public Office

대학교 행정실 실내 외 공기 중 나노입자와 중금속 농도에 관한 연구

Choi, Su-Hyeon;Im, Ji-Young;Park, Hee-Jin;Chung, Eun-Kyung;Kim, Jong-Oh;Son, Bu-Soon

  • Received : 2012.08.22
  • Accepted : 2012.12.20
  • Published : 2012.12.31


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to investigate the mass concentration of nanoparticles and understand the characteristics of elements of heavy metal concentrations within nanoparticles in the air using Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor Model-110 (MOUDI-110), based on indoor and outdoor air. Methods: This Study sampled nanoparticles using MOUDI-110 indoors (office) and outdoors at S University in Asan, Korea in order to reveal the concentration of nanoparticles in the air. Sampling continued for nine months (10 times indoors and 14 times outdoors) from March to November 2010. Mass concentrations of nanoparticle and concentrations of heavy metals (Al, Mn, Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr, Pb) were analyzed. Results: Indoors, geometric mean concentration of nanoparticles ranged in size from 0.056 ${\mu}m$ to 0.10 ${\mu}m$ and those of 0.056 ${\mu}m$ or less recorded 0.929 ${\mu}g/m^3$ and 1.002 ${\mu}g/m^3$, respectively. On the other hand, the levels were lower outdoors with 0.819 ${\mu}g/m^3$ and 0.597 ${\mu}g/m^3$. Mann-Whitney U tests showed that the difference between the indoors and the outdoors was statistically meaningful in terms of particles of 0.056 ${\mu}m$ or less (p<0.05) in size. These results are possibly influenced by the use of printers and duplicators as the factor that increased the concentration of nanoparticles. In seasonal concentration distribution, the level was higher during the summer compared to in the autumn. Those of 0.056 ${\mu}m$ or less in size presented a statistically meaningful difference during the summer (p<0.05). These results may be influenced by photochemical event as the factor that makes the levels high. Regarding zinc, among the other heavy metals, the fine particles ranged in size from 0.056 ${\mu}m$ to 0.10 ${\mu}m$ and those of 0.056 ${\mu}m$ or less recorded 1.699 $ng/m^3$ and 1.189 $ng/m^3$ in the outdoors. In the indoors, the levels were lower, with 0.745 $ng/m^3$ and 0.617 $ng/m^3$. Cr and Ni at the size of 0.056 ${\mu}m$ or less, both of which have been known to pose severe health effects, recorded higher concentrations indoors with 0.736 $ng/m^3$ and 0.177 $ng/m^3$, compared to 0.444 $ng/m^3$ and 0.091 $ng/m^3$ outdoors. By season, Zn, Ni, Cu and Pb posted a high level of indoor concentration during the fall. As for Cr, the level of concentration indoors was higher than outdoors both during the summer and the autumn. Conclusion: This study indicates the result of an examination of nano-sized particles and heavy metal concentrations. It will provide useful data for the determination of basic nanoparticle standards in the future.


nanoparticles;heavy metals;indoor


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