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Identification of technical problems affecting performance of DustTrak DRX aerosol monitors

AutorRivas, Ioar; Mazaheri, Mandana; Viana, Mar; Moreno, Teresa; Moreno, Teresa; He, C.; Bischof, Oliver F.; Martins, Vânia; Reche, Cristina; Sunyer, J.; Morawska, Lidia; Querol., Xavier
Palabras claveMass concentration
Portable instrument
TSI DustTrak
Fecha de publicación15-abr-2017
CitaciónScience of the Total Environment 584-555: 849-855 (2017)
ResumenThe TSI DustTrak Aerosol Monitor is a portable real-time instrument widely used for particulate matter (PM) mass concentrations monitoring. The aim of this work is to report on issues that have arisen from the use of the latest generation models DustTrak DRX (8533 and 8534) in the BREATHE, UPTECH and IMPROVE projects that can compromise data quality. The main issue we encountered was the occurrence of sudden artefact jumps in PM concentration, which can involve an increase from a few to some hundreds of μg·m− 3. These artefact jumps can sometimes be easily recognised (“obvious jump”), while others can be difficult to identify because the difference in the concentrations before and after the jump might be just few μg·m− 3 (“possible jump”) or because the jump is sustained over the whole monitoring period and only detectable if PM concentrations are simultaneously measured by other instruments (“hidden jump”). Moreover, in areas of relatively low PM levels, the unit reported concentration of 0 μg·m− 3 for ambient PM concentration or even negative concentration values which may seriously compromise the dataset. These data suggest issues with the detection of low PM concentrations, which could be due to an incorrect instrument offset or the factory calibration setting being inadequate for these PM concentrations. The upward and downward artefact jumps were not related to especially dusty or clean conditions, since they have been observed in many kinds of environments: indoor and outdoor school environments, subway stations and in ambient urban background air. Therefore, PM concentration data obtained with the TSI DustTrak DRX models should be handled with care and meticulously revised before being considered valid. To prevent these issues the use of auto zero module is recommended, so the DustTrak monitor is automatic re-zeroed without requiring the presence of any user. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
Versión del editor10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.129
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