Woodsmoke Concentrations in Northern NY

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Woodsmoke Concentrations in Northern NY

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:03 pm

Characterization of Valley Winter Woodsmoke Concentrations in Northern NY Using Highly Time-Resolved Measurements
George A. Allen1*, Paul J. Miller2, Lisa J. Rector3, Michael Brauer4, Jason G. Su5
http://aaqr.org/VOL11_No5_October2011/6 ... 19-530.pdf

The increasing popularity of wood fired heating appliances in cold winter climates has focused attention on assessment of woodsmoke exposures. Pollution from residential wood combustion (RWC) is a major concern in areas with valley topography where nighttime inversions limit the dispersion of pollutants from ground-level sources. An intensive characterization of ambient particulate mater (PM) from RWC was performed in northern New York State during winter 2008–2009 in an area where the 2005 U.S. EPA National Emissions Inventory shows RWC to be the largest source of PM2.5.

Measurements of woodsmoke PM were made using optical scattering and absorption techniques during repeated night-time mobile monitoring to provide data with high spatial and temporal resolution; measurements were also made at six fixed sites for the study period to provide temporal context for the mobile measurements. The difference in optical absorption at near-infrared and near-ultraviolet wavelengths was used as a specific marker for woodsmoke PM.

Woodsmoke was the only significant contributor to elevated night-time valley PM concentrations during mobile run nights; short-term (3 minute) PM concentrations frequently exceeded 100 μg/m3. Concentrations observed with mobile monitoring were consistently elevated at valley bottoms where the majority of the population lives, and approached zero outside of valleys. Data from fixed sites indicated that woodsmoke levels peaked near midnight, with a secondary peak around 7 AM and a mid-day minimum. These patterns are consistent with RWC use and diurnal patterns of atmospheric dispersion.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis!
Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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