Comparison of low cost measurement techniques for long-term monitoring of atmospheric ammonia.
ABSTRACT An inter-comparison of techniques for long-term sampling of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) was conducted with a view to establishing a national network with > 50 sites. Key requirements were for: a low cost system, simplicity and durability to enable a postal exchange with local site operators, a precision of < +/- 20% for monthly sampling at expected NH3 concentrations of 1-2 micrograms m-3, a detection limit sufficient to resolve the small NH3 concentrations (< 0.2 microgram m-3) expected in remote parts of the UK, and a quantitative means to establish quality control. Five sampling methods were compared: A, a commercially available membrane diffusion tube (exposed in triplicate), with membranes removed immediately after sampling; B, the above method, with the membranes left in place until analysis; C, open-ended diffusion tubes (exposed with 4 replicates); D, a new active sampling diffusion denuder system; and E, an active sampling bubbler system. Method D consisted of two 0.1 m acid coated glass denuders in series with sampling at approximately 0.3 l min-1. These methods were deployed at 6 locations in the UK and the Netherlands and compared against reference estimates. Method D was the most precise and sensitive of the techniques compared, with a detection limit of < 0.1 microgram m-3. The bubbler provided a less precise estimate of NH3 concentration, and also suffered several practical drawbacks. The diffusion tubes were found to correlate with the reference at high concentrations (> 3 micrograms m-3), but were less precise and overestimated NH3 at smaller concentrations. Of the passive methods, A was the most precise and C the least precise. On the basis of the results, method D has been implemented in the national network, together with application of method A to explore spatial variability in regions with expected high NH3 concentrations.
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ABSTRACT: Community exposures to environmental contaminants from industrial scale dairy operations are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of dairy operations on nearby communities by assessing airborne contaminants (particulate matter, ammonia, and cow allergen, Bos d 2) associated with dairy operations inside and outside homes. The study was conducted in 40 homes in the Yakima Valley, Washington State where over 61 dairies operate. A concentration gradient was observed showing that airborne contaminants are significantly greater at homes within one-quarter mile (0.4 km) of dairy facilities, outdoor Bos d 2, ammonia, and TD were 60, eight, and two times higher as compared to homes greater than three miles (4.8 km) away. In addition median indoor airborne Bos d 2 and ammonia concentrations were approximately 10 and two times higher in homes within one-quarter mile (0.4 km) compared to homes greater than three miles (4.8 km) away. These findings demonstrate that dairy operations increase community exposures to agents with known human health effects. This study also provides evidence that airborne biological contaminants (i.e. cow allergen) associated with airborne particulate matter are statistically elevated at distances up to three miles (4.8 km) from dairy operations.Environmental Health 08/2011; 10:72. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The main source of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) in Scotland is livestock agriculture, which accounts for 85% of emissions. The local magnitude of emissions therefore depends on livestock density, type, and management, with major differences occurring in various parts of Scotland. Local differences in agricultural activities therefore result in a wide range of NH3 emissions, ranging from less than 0.2 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) in remote areas of the Scottish Highlands to over 100 kg N ha(-1) year-1 in areas with intensive poultry farming. Scotland can be divided loosely into upland and lowland areas, with NH3 emission being less than and more than 5 kg N ha(-1) year(-1), respectively. Many semi-natural ecosystems in Scotland are vulnerable to nitrogen deposition, including bogs, moorlands, and the woodland ground flora. Because NH3 emissions occur in the rural environment, the local deposition to sensitive ecosystems may be large, making it essential to assess the spatial distribution of NH3 emissions and deposition. A spatial model is applied here to map NH3 emissions and these estimates are applied in atmospheric dispersion and deposition models to estimate atmospheric concentrations of NH3 and NH4+, dry deposition of NH3, and wet deposition of NHx. Although there is a high level of local variability, modelled NH3 concentrations show good agreement with the National Ammonia Monitoring Network, while wet deposition is largest at high altitude sites in the south and west of Scotland. Comparison of the modelled NHx deposition fields with estimated thresholds for environmental effects ("critical loads") shows that thresholds are exceeded across most of lowland Scotland and the Southern Uplands. Only in the cleanest parts of the north and west is nitrogen deposition not a cause for concern. Given that the most intense effects occur within a few kilometres of sources, it is suggested that local spatial abatement policies would be a useful complement to traditional policies that mitigate environmental effects based on emission reduction technologies.TheScientificWorldJOURNAL 10/2004; 4:795-810. · 1.73 Impact Factor