Indoor black carbon and brown carbon concentrations from cooking and outdoor penetration: insights from the HOMEChem study†
Particle emissions from cooking are a major contributor to residential indoor air pollution and could also contribute to ambient concentrations. An important constituent of these emissions is light-absorbing carbon, including black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC). This work characterizes the contributions of indoor and outdoor sources of BC and BrC to the indoor environment by concurrently measuring real-time concentrations of these air pollutants indoors and outdoors during the month-long HOMEChem study. The median indoor-to-outdoor ratios of BC and BrC during the periods of no activity inside the test house were 0.6 and 0.7, respectively. The absorption Ångström exponent was used to characterize light-absorbing particle emissions during different activities and ranged from 1.1 to 2.7 throughout the campaign, with the highest value (indicative of BrC-dominated emissions) observed during the preparation of a simulated Thanksgiving Day holiday style meal. An indoor BC exposure assessment shows that exposure for an occupant present in the kitchen area was ∼4 times higher during Thanksgiving Day experiments (primarily due to candle burning) when compared to the background conditions.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Recent HOT Articles and Environmental exposure and impacts