Indoor particle levels in small- and medium-sized commercial buildings in california

Xiangmei Wu, Michael G. Apte, Deborah H Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study monitored indoor and outdoor particle concentrations in 37 small and medium commercial buildings (SMCBs) in California with three buildings sampled on two occasions, resulting in 40 sampling days. Sampled buildings included offices, retail establishments, restaurants, dental offices, and hair salons, among others. Continuous measurements were made for both ultrafine and fine particulate matter as well as black carbon inside and outside of the building. Integrated PM2.5, PM2.5-10, and PM10 samples were also collected inside and outside the building. The majority of the buildings had indoor/outdoor (I/O) particle concentration ratios less than 1.0, indicating that contributions from indoor sources are less than removal of outdoor particles. However, some of the buildings had I/O ratios greater than 1, indicating significant indoor particle sources. This was particularly true of restaurants, hair salons, and dental offices. The infiltration factor was estimated from a regression analysis of indoor and outdoor concentrations for each particle size fraction, finding lower values for ultrafine and coarse particles than for submicrometer particles, as expected. The I/O ratio of black carbon was used as a relative measure of the infiltration factor of particles among buildings, with a geometric mean of 0.62. The contribution of indoor sources to indoor particle levels was estimated for each building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12355-12363
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 20 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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