Practicalities of mapping PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations on city-wide scales using a portable particulate monitor

Michael Deary, Samantha Bainbridge, Amy Kerr, Adam McAllister, Thomas Shrimpton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Fine particulate matter is considered to be the most significant ambient air pollutant in terms of potential health impacts. Therefore, it is important that regulators are able to accurately assess the exposure of populations to PM10 and PM2.5 across municipal areas. We report on the practicalities of using a laser light scattering portable particulate monitor (Turnkey Instruments DustMate), in combination with a GPS, to map PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations on city-wide scales in Newcastle upon Tyne/Gateshead (UK), during a series of walking surveys. A heated inlet is necessary to remove moisture droplets from the sampled air prior to analysis by the instrument, though this also results in the loss of volatile particulate components, particularly from the PM2.5 fraction. A co-location calibration study was carried out with a reference urban background Tapered Element Oscillating Micro-Balance/Filter Dynamics Measuring System (TEOM-FDMS) system in Newcastle that is part of the UK’s Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) of air quality monitoring stations. For PM10, orthogonal regression of the DustMate against TEOM-FDMS data gave a slope and intercept of 1.02 ± 0.06 and −3.7 ± 1.2, respectively (R 2 = 0.73), whereas for PM2.5, the respective values were 0.78 ± 0.06 and −0.63 ± 0.55 (R 2 = 0.79). These parameters are comparable to literature calibration studies using this technology. There was good agreement between simultaneous samples taken using two DustMate instruments: for PM10, a slope and intercept of 1.05 ± 0.03 and 0.36 ± 0.5, respectively (R 2 = 0.73), were obtained, whereas for the PM2.5, the respective values were 0.79 ± 0.01 and 0.19 ± 0.06 (R 2 = 0.86). Correction factors based on the slope and intercepts obtained from the calibration exercise were applied to raw data collected from the DustMate. An annually-normalised correction procedure was then used to account for different background particulate concentrations on different sampling days. These corrected PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations and corresponding GPS coordinates were displayed on a base map using Google Fusion Tables and Google Earth Professional. Almost all areas surveyed in Newcastle/Gateshead were well below the EU Air Quality Standards for PM10 and PM2.5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-930
JournalAir Quality, Atmosphere & Health
Issue number8
Early online date21 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Practicalities of mapping PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations on city-wide scales using a portable particulate monitor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this