Student Research: Rachel Roisman

, Occupational Medicine (Occ Med), 2008
Faculty Advisor: Sverre Vedal

Respiratory Health Effects Among Children in a Pulp Mill Community


Air pollution consists of several different compounds. Total suspended particulate matter (TSP, or TPM) refers to the total amount of suspended particulate material present in the atmosphere. These particles include smoke, soot, dust, and aerosols. The concentration of TSP in the air is determined by dividing the particulate mass by the volume of air sampled. Because of the measurement technique, which involves drawing air through a pre-weifhed filter by using a high-volume air sampler, airborne particles with diameters greater than 100 um are unlikely to be captured and are therefore not reflected in the measurement. Particulate matter (PM) is generally subdivided by size. PM10 refers to the fraction of PM consistingn of particles less than 10 microns in diameter (<10 um). This distinction has biological importance since particles of this size can penetrate and deposit in the tracheobronchial tree. PM10 can be furthur broken down into fine (<2.5 um) and course (2.5-10 um) components. Fine particles (PM2.5) can reach small airways and alveoli and are mostly produced by combustion sources including the burning of fossil fuels and wood. The coarse component is mostly derived from natural resouorces (crustal material and grinding processes).

Taken from the beginning of thesis.