Determining Size-Specific Emission Factors for Environmental Tobacco Smoke Particles
Because size is a major controlling factor for indoor airborne particle behavior, human particle exposure assessments will benefit from improved knowledge of size-specific particle emissions. We report a method of inferring size-specific mass emission factors for indoor sources that makes use of an indoor aerosol dynamics model, measured particle concentration time series data, and an optimization routine. This approach provides — in addition to estimates of the emissions size distribution and integrated emission factors — estimates of deposition rate, an enhanced understanding of particle dynamics, and information about model performance. We applied the method to size-specific environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) particle concentrations measured every minute with an 8-channel optical particle counter (PMS-LASAIR; 0.1-2+ micrometer diameters) and every 10 or 30 min with a 34-channel differential mobility particle sizer (TSI-DMPS; 0.01-1+ micrometer diameters) after a single cigarette or cigar was machine-smoked inside a low air-exchange rate 20m3 chamber. The aerosol dynamics model provided good fits to observed concentrations when using optimized values of mass emission rate and deposition rate for each particle size range as input. Small discrepancies observed in the first 1-2 hours after smoking are likely due to the effect of particle evaporation, a process neglected by the model. Size-specific ETS particle emission factors were fit with log-normal distributions, yielding an average mass median diameter of 0.2 micrometers and an average geometric standard deviation of 2.3 with no systematic differences between cigars and cigarettes. The equivalent total particle emission rate, obtained by integrating each size distribution, was 0.2-0.7 mg/min for cigars and 0.7-0.9 mg/min for cigarettes.