India – Particles emitted from indoor combustion sources

January 4, 2010 · 0 comments

Inhal Toxicol. 2009 Aug; 21(10):837-48.

Particles emitted from indoor combustion sources:  size distribution measurement and chemical analysis.

Roy AA, Baxla SP, Gupta T, Bandyopadhyaya R, Tripathi SN. Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India.

This study is primarily focused toward measuring the particle size distribution and chemical analysis of particulate matter that originates from combustion sources typically found in Indian urban homes.  Four such sources were selected: cigarette, incense stick, mosquito coil, and dhoop, the latter being actually a thick form of incense stick. Altogether, seven of the most popular brands available in the Indian market were tested.  Particle size distribution in the smoke was measured using a scanning mobility particle sizer, using both long and nano forms of differential mobility analyzer (DMA), with readings averaged from four to six runs. The measurable particle size range of the nano DMA was 4.6 nm to 157.8 nm, whereas that of the long DMA was 15.7 nm to 637.8 nm. Therefore, readings obtained from the long and the nano DMA were compared for different brands as well as for different sources. An overlap was seen in the readings in the common range of measurement. The lowest value of peak concentration was seen for one brand of incense stick (0.9 x 10(6) cm(-3)), whereas the highest (7.1 x 10(6) cm(-3)) was seen for the dhoop. Generally, these sources showed a peak between 140 and 170 nm; however, 2 incense stick brands showed peaks at 79 nm and 89 nm. The dhoop showed results much different from the rest of the sources, with a mode at around 240 nm. Chemical analysis in terms of three heavy metals (cadmium, zinc, and lead) was performed using graphite tube atomizer and
flame-atomic absorption spectrophotometer.  Calculations were made to assess the expected cancer and noncancer risks, using published toxicity potentials for these three heavy metals. Our calculations revealed that all the sources showed lead concentrations much below the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) threshold limit value (TLV) level.  One of the two mosquito coil brands (M(2)) showed cadmium concentrations two times higher than the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) reference exposure level (REL). The latter also showed the highest carcinogenic risks of 350 people per million population. The amount of zinc obtained from the sources, however,  was found to be quite below the standard limits, implying no risk in terms of zinc.

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