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Sampling and Analysis of PM10/PM2.5

AUTHOR: Lesley Sloss
DATE: October 1998

Ambient concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 are of concern with respect to effects on human health and comprise a complex mixture of pollutants which aries in time and from place to place. Accurate measurement and monitoring is essential to increase the understanding of these poorly defined pollutants.

This report reviews the technologies available for sampling PM10 and PM2.5 both in the stacks of coal-fired power plants and in the ambient air. It also reviews the analytical methods used to determine the individual chemical components within particulate matter. The practical limitations of the various techniques used are discussed and the importance of speciation is stressed. The official standard sampling and analysis techniques relevant to the measurement of PM10 and PM2.5which are prescribed in several countries are included. These aim to monitor emissions to ensure compliance with new and proposed ambient air quality standards. However, before the choice of equipment is made permanent, it is essential that these methods are evaluated and optimised. More research is needed to determine the speciation of individual components within the PM10 and PM2.5samples which may be responsible for the reported effects.