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Sources of air pollution in NZ homes and the impact of ventilation/infiltration

1 June 2020

Davy, P.K.; Trompetter, W.J.
Air Quality and Climate Change, 54(2): 18-24

The identification of indoor air pollutants is useful for exposure analysis and air quality management as we spend 80-90% of our time in built environments. We present the results from a study of indoor aerosol composition across a range of residential housing stock in Wellington, New Zealand. High resolution (two-hourly) samples of air particulate matter were collected simultaneously both indoors and outdoors of occupied dwellings and the elemental composition of the samples was then measured using ion beam analysis. The compositional data was used to define the sources of particulate matter and assess the differences between indoors and outdoors as well as examine the infiltration of outdoor air pollution to indoor spaces. We show that indoor emission sources (cooking, wood burner use, household dust) can generate high concentrations of particulate matter and that the fine fraction from outdoor sources infiltrates our homes essentially unimpeded.