The adverse health effects of inhaled particulate matter (PM)are global concern. Yet, in general, estimating the exposure to PM is challenging due to the sparsity of standard air quality monitoring stations and the low accuracy of dispersion models when high spatial resolution is required. The city of Elad, Israel, is situated less than 1 km from the Migdal Tzedek stone quarry, and public concerns were raised regarding the impact of the quarry's PM emissions on the city air quality. This work describes a year-long campaign of continuous measurements of particle number concentration (PNC)in few locations in the city and its vicinity, using a network of low cost optical particle counters (OPCs). To assess the possible impact of the quarry on the city we examined the OPCs' accuracy, coherency, and their capability to detect the quarry's impact on the PNC levels in the city. Using PNC time series in two size channels from a network of five nodes, PM10 and PM2.5 records from a nearby reference air quality monitoring station, and meteorological data, we could conclude that the quarry's impact on the city was small relative to the background PNC levels. Yet, more importantly, this work demonstrates the use of a network of low cost OPCs for responding to an environmental query for which the sparse standard air quality monitoring observations were not sufficient. The trade-offs between deployment of a network of cheap low-quality instruments and the use of a single high-end device are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources grant # 215-17-15 , and by the generous contribution of the Leona H. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant # 2015PG-ISL006 to the Technion-Shantou University Collaboration in Environmental Health. The research was performed by the Technion Center of Excellence in Exposure Science and Environmental Health (TCEEH).
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd
- Optical particle counter
- Particle number concentration
- Quarry emissions
- Sensor network