2010 April 28: CO La Plata County: Air Quality Monitoring

2010 April 28: CO La Plata County: Air Quality Monitoring

La Plata County’s Environmental Specialist conducts Air Quality Monitoring for Colorado Department Public Health and Environment Air Pollution Control Division (CDPHE-APCD) for monitoring PM10 in ambient air.  La Plata County was awarded the one-year contract in July 2009.  The PM10 monitors sample collection schedule follows the EPA Ambient Particulate Monitoring Sample Day schedule for one in six day sampling.  

"PM10 is the designation of particulate matter in the atmosphere that has an aerodynamic diameter of 10 um or less.  PM10 sampling is designated as a method in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (40 CFR Part 50, Appendix M) (EPA 1997)" (CDPHE 2001).

PM10"A high-volume PM10 sampler draws a known volume of ambient air at a constant flow rate through a size-selective input and through a filter.  Particles in the PM10 size range are then collected on the filter during a specified 24-hour (midnight to midnight) sampling period.  Each sample filter is weighed before and after sampling to determine the net weight gain of the collected PM10 sample" (CDPHE 2001).

"In 1987, EPA replaced the earlier Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) air quality standard with a PM-10 standard. The new standard focuses on smaller particles that are likely responsible for adverse health effects because of their ability to reach the lower regions of the respiratory tract. The PM-10 standard includes particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less (0.0004 inches or one-seventh the width of a human hair). EPA’s health-based national air quality standard for PM-10 is 50 µg/m3 (measured as an annual mean) and 150 µg/m3 (measured as a daily concentration). Major concerns for human health from exposure to PM-10 include: effects on breathing and respiratory systems, damage to lung tissue, cancer, and premature death. The elderly, children, and people with chronic lung disease, influenza, or asthma, are especially sensitive to the effects of particulate matter. Acidic PM-10 can also damage human-made materials and is a major cause of reduced visibility in many parts of the U.S."(EPA 2010).

References:

CDPHE 2001.  Standard Operation Procedure for Monitoring PM10 in Ambient Air Using a High Volume Volumetric – Mass-Flow Controlled Sampler for the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, August.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010.  Particulate Matter (PM-10).  Available at: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrnd95/pm10.html

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