Personal Exposure Monitoring

Black Carbon is a primary component of Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM). Exposure to BC occurs when people breathe in smoke and fumes from traffic-related exhaust. Exposure is particularly hazardous to human health because the Black Carbon particles are very small in size (smaller than one micron or about 1:170 the size of a human hair) and have an active surface which attracts gases and other particle phase toxins. These tiny particles penetrate deep into the lungs, carrying a host of the other toxic materials which are present in smoke and vehicle exhaust.

In the past, scientific studies about black carbon have been limited to advanced research groups interested identifying the specific chemical components of fine and ultrafine particle mass. These scientific studies have proven that exposure to diesel particulate matter, and specifically black carbon, is hazardous to human health, causing cardiovascular disease, exposure-related asthma, premature hospitalization and death. The results of these studies have demonstrated the need for increased monitoring of Black Carbon, covering a much broader, more representative area to monitoring people's exposure to traffic-related pollutants.

Analysis in the near-UV (370nm) provides information on the presence of aromatic organic compounds such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, and other hazardous pollutant species.


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