On-road exposure to highway aerosols. 1. Aerosol and gas measurements

D. B. Kittelson, Winthrop F. Watts, J. P. Johnson, M. L. Remerowki, E. E. Ische, G. Oberdörster, R. M. Gelein, A. Elder, P. K. Hopke, E. Kim, W. Zhao, L. Zhou, C. H. Jeong

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74 Scopus citations


On-road experiments were conducted to determine the sensitivities of rats to real-world aerosol. This article summarizes the on-road aerosol and gas measurements and provides background information for the companion paper on the rat exposures. Measurements were carried out over 10 days, 6 h/day, driving a route from Rochester to Buffalo. Aerosol instrumentation used in this study included two scanning mobility particle sizers (SMPS) to determine the aerosol size distribution from 10 to 300 nm, 2 stand-alone condensation particle counters to determine the total aerosol number concentration, and an electrical aerosol detector to determine the aerosol length concentration. A thermal denuder (TD) was used with one of the SMPS instruments to determine the size distribution of the non-volatile fraction. Filter samples were collected and analyzed for elemental carbon, and gas analyzers measured ambient levels of CO, CO2, and NO. Average daily total aerosol number concentration ranged from 200,000 to 560,000 particles/cm3. Past studies on urban highways have measured total number concentrations ranging between 104 and 106 particles/cm3. The average daily NO concentration ranged from 0.10 to 0.24 ppm and the corresponding CO2 concentration ranged from 400 to 420 ppm. The average daily geometric number mean particle size determined by the SMPS ranged from 15 to 20 nm. The TD reduced the average SMPS number concentration between 87 and 95% and the SMPS volume between 54 and 83%, suggesting that most of the particles consisted of volatile material The TD also increased the geometric number mean diameter from 15 to 20 nm to 30 to 40 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program, grant R827354. The University of Minnesota’s Mobile Emission Laboratory was designed, built, and equipped as part of the Coordinating Research Council’s Diesel Aerosol Sampling Methodology (E-43) research project. A major sponsor of the E-43 project was the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Volvo Truck Corporation provides the tractor that serves as the platform for the laboratory. We thank these sponsors. We also extend our thanks to Amanda Lacy and Matt Wappel for their assistance in conducting the CPC comparison studies.


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