Romanian Journal of Ecology & Environmental Chemistry
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Concentration versus number of particles in the assessment of air pollution with particulate matters


Keywords: air pollution, emissions, particulate matter, textiles

In this paper, an assessment study was performed regarding air pollution with particulate matters including submicron particles. The evaluation of the contamination level was performed at a textile production unit in Pascani, Romania, which produces polyester knitwear. In the study, automatic determinations of total suspended particulate matters (TSP), PM 10, PM 2.5 and PM 1 (particle with nominal diameter <10 µm, <2.5 µm and <1 µm), and submicron particulate matters (0.25, 0.35, 0.50 and 0.70) were performed both outdoor, in the ambient air, and indoor (workplace) in the area of the knitting machines. The correlation between the mass concentrations of submicronic particles (µg/m 3) and the numerical concentrations (number of particles/m3) was study, too, for establish the most appropriate expression of the air pollution level with particulate matter. The results of the performed tests showed a level of ambient air pollution with particulate matters that exceed the limit values in the case of PM 2.5 and PM 10, the total suspended particulates still falling within the limits established by law. Likewise, in the case ofworkplace air, the level ofinhalable particulate matters (particles with nominal diameter <100 µm), the concentration is below the limit values. Regarding the way of expressing the concentration of air particles, in µg/m3 or in no. particles/m3 the tests indicated better representativeness of the pollution level if the concentration in µg m3 is expressed for the dimensional fractions with diameter ≥ 1 µm and in no. particles/m3 for particles with a diameter of ≤1 µm.