Publications by authors named "Andrea R Ferro"

10 Publications

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Ten questions concerning the implications of carpet on indoor chemistry and microbiology.

Build Environ 2019 Dec;170:1-16

Tarkett, Dalton, GA, 30721, USA.

Carpet and rugs currently represent about half of the United States flooring market and offer many benefits as a flooring type. How carpets influence our exposure to both microorganisms and chemicals in indoor environments has important health implications but is not well understood. The goal of this manuscript is to consolidate what is known about how carpet impacts indoor chemistry and microbiology, as well as to identify the important research gaps that remain. After describing the current use of carpet indoors, questions focus on five specific areas: 1) indoor chemistry, 2) indoor microbiology, 3) resuspension and exposure, 4) current practices and future needs, and 5) sustainability. Overall, it is clear that carpet can influence our exposures to particles and volatile compounds in the indoor environment by acting as a direct source, as a reservoir of environmental contaminants, and as a surface supporting chemical and biological transformations. However, the health implications of these processes are not well known, nor how cleaning practices could be optimized to minimize potential negative impacts. Current standards and recommendations focus largely on carpets as a primary source of chemicals and on limiting moisture that would support microbial growth. Future research should consider enhancing knowledge related to the impact of carpet in the indoor environment and how we might improve the design and maintenance of this common material to reduce our exposure to harmful contaminants while retaining the benefits to consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7017391PMC
December 2019

Hourly land-use regression models based on low-cost PM monitor data.

Environ Res 2018 11 4;167:7-14. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA; Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Land-use regression (LUR) models provide location and time specific estimates of exposure to air pollution and thereby improve the sensitivity of health effects models. However, they require pollutant concentrations at multiple locations along with land-use variables. Often, monitoring is performed over short durations using mobile monitoring with research-grade instruments. Low-cost PM monitors provide an alternative approach that increases the spatial and temporal resolution of the air quality data. LUR models were developed to predict hourly PM concentrations across a metropolitan area using PM concentrations measured simultaneously at multiple locations with low-cost monitors. Monitors were placed at 23 sites during the 2015/16 heating season. Monitors were externally calibrated using co-located measurements including a reference instrument (GRIMM particle spectrometer). LUR models for each hour of the day and weekdays/weekend days were developed using the deletion/substitution/addition algorithm. Coefficients of determination for hourly PM predictions ranged from 0.66 and 0.76 (average 0.7). The hourly-resolved LUR model results will be used in epidemiological studies to examine if and how quickly, increases in ambient PM concentrations trigger adverse health events by reducing the exposure misclassification that arises from using less time resolved exposure estimates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.052DOI Listing
November 2018

Estimating Hourly Concentrations of PM across a Metropolitan Area Using Low-Cost Particle Monitors.

Sensors (Basel) 2017 Aug 21;17(8). Epub 2017 Aug 21.

Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA.

There is concern regarding the heterogeneity of exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) across urban areas leading to negatively biased health effects models. New, low-cost sensors now permit continuous and simultaneous measurements to be made in multiple locations. Measurements of ambient PM were made from October to April 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 to assess the spatial and temporal variability in PM and the relative importance of traffic and wood smoke to outdoor PM concentrations in Rochester, NY, USA. In general, there was moderate spatial inhomogeneity, as indicated by multiple pairwise measures including coefficient of divergence and signed rank tests of the value distributions. Pearson correlation coefficients were often moderate (~50% of units showed correlations >0.5 during the first season), indicating that there was some coherent variation across the area, likely driven by a combination of meteorological conditions (wind speed, direction, and mixed layer heights) and the concentration of PM being transported into the region. Although the accuracy of these PM sensors is limited, they are sufficiently precise relative to one another and to research grade instruments that they can be useful is assessing the spatial and temporal variations across an area and provide concentration estimates based on higher-quality central site monitoring data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s17081922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579734PMC
August 2017

An evaluation of the impact of flooring types on exposures to fine and coarse particles within the residential micro-environment using CONTAM.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2016 Jan-Feb;26(1):86-94. Epub 2015 May 13.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, USA.

Typical resuspension activities within the home, such as walking, have been estimated to contribute up to 25% of personal exposures to PM10. Chamber studies have shown that for moderate walking intensities, flooring type can impact the rate at which particles are re-entrained into the air. For this study, the impact of residential flooring type on incremental average daily (24 h) time-averaged exposure was investigated. Distributions of incremental time-averaged daily exposures to fine and coarse PM while walking within the residential micro-environment were predicted using CONTAM, the multizone airflow and contaminant transport program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Knowledge of when and where a person was walking was determined by randomly selecting 490 daily diaries from the EPA's consolidated human activity database (CHAD). On the basis of the results of this study, residential flooring type can significantly impact incremental time-averaged daily exposures to coarse and fine particles (α=0.05, P<0.05, N=490, Kruskal-Wallis test) with high-density cut pile carpeting resulting in the highest exposures. From this study, resuspension from walking within the residential micro-environment contributed 6-72% of time-averaged daily exposures to PM10.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jes.2015.31DOI Listing
October 2016

Resuspension of indoor aeroallergens and relationship to lung inflammation in asthmatic children.

Environ Int 2010 Jan 1;36(1):8-14. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, United States. Electronic address:

Studies have shown links between the concentration of allergens found in homes and asthma. Inhalation of allergens present in settled residential dust can occur when the dust is resuspended via human activity or air currents. Although previous studies have measured allergen concentrations in homes, the focus has been on the presence of the allergens in settled dust samples. However, the actual inhalation exposure is to airborne allergens. The relationship between the settled dust composition and suspended allergens and endotoxin and the effect of exposure of these aeroallergens to asthmatics are not well understood for species typically present indoors. In this study, settled dust and airborne particulate matter samples were collected in the homes and school classrooms of asthmatic children of ages 9 to 16 and analyzed for endotoxin and allergens including dust mite and cockroach allergen, and dog and cat dander (Der p1, Der f1, Bla g1, Can f1, and Fel d1, respectively). Concentrations of cockroach allergen were below detection limit for all samples. Measurements of the settled dust samples show higher dust mite allergen in bedroom samples than in living room samples. Concentrations of airborne endotoxin and indoor allergens were generally higher in the homes than those measured at school. Within the homes, higher concentrations of airborne allergens and endotoxin were observed in the living rooms compared to the bedrooms. Resuspension rates for endotoxin, dust mite allergen, and, cat and dog dander were estimated in this study. Calculated resuspension rates for cat dander (8.1x10(-7)+/-3.5x10(-7)min(-1)) and dust mite allergen (2.1x10(-6)+/-7.6x10(-7)min(-1)and 1.4x10(-5)+/-4.6x10(-6)min(-1) for Der p 1 and Der f 1, respectively) were found to be higher than those for dog dander (3.1x10(-7)+/-1.3x10(-7)min(-1)) and endotoxin (3.6x10(-7)+/-1.6x10(-7)min(-1)). Markers of asthma inflammation including nitrate in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), were correlated with the concentrations of dust mite allergen (Der p 1) (Spearman r=0.598; p-value=0.068 for EBC and Spearman r=0.819; p-value=0.007 for eNO) and cat dander (Fel d 1) (Spearman r=0.917; p-value=0.0002 for EBC and Spearman r=0.697; p-value=0.054 for eNO) present in PM(10) samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2009.09.001DOI Listing
January 2010

Estimating the resuspension rate and residence time of indoor particles.

J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2008 Apr;58(4):502-16

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA.

Resuspension experiments were performed in a single-family residence. Resuspension by human activity was found to elevate the mass concentration of indoor particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microm (PM10) an average of 2.5 times as high as the background level. As summarized from 14 experiments, the average estimated PM10 resuspension rate by a person walking on a carpeted floor was (1.4 +/- 0.6) x 10(-4) hr(-1). The estimated residence time for PM in the indoor air following resuspension was less than 2 hr for PM10 and less than 3 hr for 2-microm tracer particles. However, experimental results show that the 2-microm tracer particles stayed in the combined indoor air and surface compartments much longer (>19 days). Using a two-compartment model to simulate a regular deposition and resuspension cycle by normal human activity (e.g., walking and sitting on furniture), we estimated residence time for 2-microm conservative particulate pollutants to be more than 7 decades without vacuum cleaning, and months if vacuum cleaning was done once per week. This finding supports the observed long residence time of persistent organic pollutants in indoor environments. This study introduces a method to evaluate the particle resuspension rate from semicontinuous concentration data of particulate matter (PM). It reveals that resuspension and subsequent exfiltration does not strongly affect the overall residence time of PM pollutants when compared with surface cleaning. However, resuspension substantially increases PM concentration, and thus increases short-term inhalation exposure to indoor PM pollutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3155/1047-3289.58.4.502DOI Listing
April 2008

Factor analysis of submicron particle size distributions near a major United States-Canada trade bridge.

J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2007 Feb;57(2):190-203

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5708, USA.

A factor analytic model has been applied to resolve and apportion particles based on submicron particle size distributions downwind of a United States-Canada bridge in Buffalo, NY. The sites chosen for this study were located at gradually increasing distances downwind of the bridge complex. Seven independent factors were resolved, including four factors that were common to all of the five sites considered. The common factors were generally characterized by the existence of two or more number and surface area modes. The seven factors resolved were identified as follows: fresh tail-pipe diesel exhaust, local/street diesel traffic, aged/evolved diesel particles, spark-ignition gasoline emissions, background urban emissions, heavy-duty diesel agglomerates, and secondary/transported material. Submicron (<0.5 microm) and ultrafine (<0.1 microm) particle emissions downwind of the bridge were dominated by commercial diesel truck emissions. Thus, this study obtained size distinction between fresh versus aged vehicle exhaust and spark-ignition versus diesel emissions based on the measured high time-resolution particle number concentrations. Because this study mainly used particles <300 nm in diameter, some sources that would usually exhibit number modes >100 nm were not resolved. Also, the resolved profiles suggested that the major number mode for fresh tailpipe diesel exhaust might exist below the detection limit of the spectrometer used. The average particle number contributions from the resolved factors were highest closest to the bridge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10473289.2007.10465316DOI Listing
February 2007

Outdoor versus indoor contributions to indoor particulate matter (PM) determined by mass balance methods.

J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2004 Sep;54(9):1188-96

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

This study compares an indoor-outdoor air-exchange mass balance model (IO model) with a chemical mass balance (CMB) model. The models were used to determine the contribution of outdoor sources and indoor resuspension activities to indoor particulate matter (PM) concentrations. Simultaneous indoor and outdoor measurements of PM concentration, chemical composition, and air-exchange rate were made for five consecutive days at a single-family residence using particle counters, nephelometers, and filter samples of integrated PM with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 microm (PM2.5) and PM with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to 5 microm (PM5). Chemical compositions were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry. During three high-activity days, prescribed activities, such as cleaning and walking, were conducted over a period of 4-6 hr. For the remaining two days, indoor activities were minimal. Indoor sources accounted for 60-89% of the PM2.5 and more than 90% of the PM5 for the high-activity days. For the minimal-activity days, indoor sources accounted for 27-47% of PM2.5 and 44-60% of the PM5. Good agreement was found between the two mass balance methods. Indoor PM2.5 originating outdoors averaged 53% of outdoor concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10473289.2004.10470983DOI Listing
September 2004

Elevated personal exposure to particulate matter from human activities in a residence.

J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol 2004 ;14 Suppl 1:S34-40

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5710, USA.

Continuous laser particle counters collocated with time-integrated filter samplers were used to measure personal, indoor, and outdoor particulate matter (PM) concentrations for a variety of prescribed human activities during a 5-day experimental period in a home in Redwood City, CA, USA. The mean daytime personal exposures to PM(2.5) and PM(5) during prescribed activities were 6 and 17 times, respectively, as high as the pre-activity indoor background concentration. Activities that resulted in the highest exposures of PM(2.5), PM(5), and PM(10) were those that disturbed dust reservoirs on furniture and textiles, such as dry dusting, folding clothes and blankets, and making a bed. The vigor of activity and type of flooring were also important factors for dust resuspension. Personal exposures to PM(2.5) and PM(5) were 1.4 and 1.6 times, respectively, as high as the indoor concentration as measured by a stationary monitor. The ratio of personal exposure to the indoor concentration was a function of both particle size and the distance of the human activity from the stationary indoor monitor. The results demonstrate that a wide variety of indoor human resuspension activities increase human exposure to PM and contribute to the "personal cloud" effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.jea.7500356DOI Listing
July 2004

Source strengths for indoor human activities that resuspend particulate matter.

Environ Sci Technol 2004 Mar;38(6):1759-64

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Terman Engineering Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-4020, USA.

A mathematical model was applied to continuous indoor and outdoor particulate matter (PM) measurements to estimate source strengths for a variety of prescribed human activities that resuspend house dust in the home. Activities included folding blankets, folding clothes, dry dusting, making a bed, dancing on a rug, dancing on a wood floor, vacuuming, and walking around and sitting on upholstered furniture. Although most of the resuspended particle mass from these activities was larger than 5 microm in diameter, the resuspension of PM2.5 and PM5 was substantial, with source strengths ranging from 0.03 to 0.5 mg min(-1) for PM2.5 and from 0.1 to 1.4 mg min(-1) for PM5. Source strengths for PM > 5 microm could not be quantified due to instrument limitations. The source strengths were found to be a function of the number of persons performing the activity, the vigor of the activity, the type of activity, and the type of flooring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es0263893DOI Listing
March 2004