Influence of ambient (outdoor) sources on residential indoor and personal PM2.5 concentrations: Analyses of RIOPA data

Qingyu Meng, Barbara J. Turpin, Leo Korn, Clifford P. Weisel, Maria Morandi, Steven Colome, Zhang Junfeng, Thomas Stock, Dalia Spektor, Arthur Winer, Lin Zhang, Hoon Lee Jong, Robert Giovanetti, William Cui, Jaymin Kwon, Shahnaz Alimokhtari, Derek Shendell, Jennifer Jones, Corice Farrar, Silvia Maberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


The Relationship of Indoor, Outdoor and Personal Air (RIOPA) study was designed to investigate residential indoor, outdoor and personal exposures to several classes of air pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, carbonyls and fine particles (PM2.5). Samples were collected from summer, 1999 to spring, 2001 in Houston (TX), Los Angeles (CA) and Elizabeth (NJ). Indoor, outdoor and personal PM2.5 samples were collected at 212 nonsmoking residences, 162 of which were sampled twice. Some homes were chosen due to close proximity to ambient sources of one or more target analytes, while others were farther from sources. Median indoor, outdoor and personal PM2.5 mass concentrations for these three sites were 14.4, 15.5 and 31.4 μg/m3, respectively. The contributions of ambient (outdoor) and nonambient sources to indoor and personal concentrations were quantified using a single compartment box model with measured air exchange rate and a random component superposition (RCS) statistical model. The median contribution of ambient sources to indoor PM2.5 concentrations using the mass balance approach was estimated to be 56% for all study homes (63%, 52% and 33% for California, New Jersey and Texas study homes, respectively). Reasonable variations in model assumptions alter median ambient contributions by less than 20%. The mean of the distribution of ambient contributions across study homes agreed well for the mass balance and RCS models, but the distribution was somewhat broader when calculated using the mass balance model with measured air exchange rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of exposure analysis and environmental epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Ambient-generated PM
  • Exposure
  • PM


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