Results of an indoor size fractionated PM school sampling program in Libby, Montana

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Libby, Montana is the only PM2.5 nonattainment area in the western United States with the exceptions of parts of southern California. During January through March 2005, a particulate matter (PM) sampling program was conducted within Libby's elementary and middle schools to establish baseline indoor PM concentrations before a wood stove change-out program is implemented over the next several years. As part of this program, indoor concentrations of PM mass, organic carbon (OC), and elemental carbon (EC) in five different size fractions (>2.5, 1.0-2.5, 0.5-1.0, 0.25-0.5, and <0.25 μm) were measured. Total measured PM mass concentrations were much higher inside the elementary school, with particle size fraction (>2.5, 0.5-1.0, 0.25-0.5, and <0.25 μm) concentrations between 2 and 5 times higher when compared to the middle school. The 1.0-2.5 μm fraction had the largest difference between the two sites, with elementary school concentrations nearly 10 times higher than the middle school values. The carbon component for the schools' indoor PM was found to be predominantly composed of OC. Measured total OC and EC concentrations, as well as concentrations within individual size fractions, were an average of two to five times higher at the elementary school when compared to the middle school. For the ultrafine fraction (<0.25), EC concentrations were similar between each of the schools. Despite the differences in concentrations between the schools at the various fraction levels, the OC/EC ratio was determined to be similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Elemental carbon
  • Organic carbon
  • PM
  • Residential wood combustion
  • Smoke
  • Valley air pollution


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