ARB Research Seminar

This page updated July 26, 2013

Taking a Supersite on the Road: Monitoring Particulate Matter in Community Air

Dane Westerdahl, Air Resources Board

August 14, 2003
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA



We deployed a highly-instrumented electric Toyota RAV4 for the study of ultrafine particulate matter (UFPM) and associated gaseous air pollutants. This platform was operated for several months on freeways and arterial roads, in industrialized areas, and in residential neighborhoods in Southern California. It was completely self-contained, nimble, and presented no pollution signal to complicate the interpretation of observations. Instruments onboard consisted of Scanning Mobility Particle Sizers, Condensation Particle Counters, an Electrical Aerosol Detector, an Aethalometer for black carbon, PAH, NOx, CO, and CO2 analyzers, temperature and humidity measurement devices, and a PM2.5 nephalometer. Instruments provided real or near-time measurements with high time resolution.

This instrumented platform represented a new tool that allowed us to address important questions about UFPM in community air, including: What are the principal sources of urban UFPM? What happens to freshly emitted particles? How can UFPM best be characterized and what are the potential and real exposures experienced by people on highways and in neighborhoods? Results and experience gained from this study will be presented along with initial interpretations of the nature of UFPM and its associated pollutants with regard to human exposure. It was performed by Research Division staff, in close cooperation with the University of Southern California Aerosol Laboratory, the Southern California Particle Center and Supersite, and with help from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and ARB's Monitoring and Laboratory Division.

Speaker Biography

Dane Westerdahl is the Health Advisor to the Health and Exposure Assessment Branch of the Research Division. He has 26 years experience at the ARB overseeing health effects research and related air monitoring programs.

For a complete listing of the ARB Research Seminars and the related documentation
for the seminars please view the Main Seminars web page