The Transformation Of Outdoor Ammonium Nitrate Aerosols In The Indoor Environment
Recent studies associate particulate air pollution with adverse health effects; however, the exposure to indoor particles of outdoor origin is not well characterized, particularly for individual chemical species. In response to this, a field study in an unoccupied, single-story residence in Clovis, California has been conducted. Real-time particle monitors were used both outdoors and indoors to quantify PM2.5 nitrate, sulfate, and carbon. The results show that reduced indoor sulfate and carbon levels are primarily due to deposition and penetration losses. However, measured indoor ammonium nitrate levels were often observed to be at significantly lower levels than expected based solely on penetration and deposition losses. The additional reduction appears to be due to the transformation of ammonium nitrate into ammonia and nitric acid indoors, which are subsequently lost by deposition and sorption to indoor surfaces. The size of the effect is dependent upon factors such as temperature, relative humidity, and ventilation rate.