Characterization of chemical and microbial species from size-segregated indoor and outdoor particulate samples

Olli Sippula (Corresponding Author), Helena Rintala, Mikko Happo, Pasi Jalava, Kari Kuuspalo, Annika Virén, Ari Leskinen, Ari Markkanen, Mika Komppula, Piia Markkanen, Kari Lehtinen, Jorma Jokiniemi, Maija-Riitta Hirvonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The respirable particles in both outdoor and indoor air contain several different components that are considered to have adverse health effects; e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), various metals and microbial species. In this study, size segregated particle samples were collected for chemical, microbial and toxicological analyses from the indoor and outdoor air during each season of the year. The indoor sampling was carried out in a new, detached house with a novel sampling approach. The inorganic species accounted for 8–43% of the total respirable particles. The highest fine particle metal concentrations, both outdoors and indoors, were observed during summer, when the air quality was affected by wildfire smoke plumes, while in coarse particles the total metal concentrations were the highest during the spring, due to the high contribution from mineral dust. The PAH concentrations were 1.3 to 4.8 times higher in outdoor than in indoor air, and they were clearly the highest during winter, most probably due to residential heating, which is a major PAH source. PAHs with four rings had the largest contribution to the total PAHs. Microbial DNA was observed in all size classes, but the highest concentrations were measured in the coarse (PM2.5–10) fraction. The microbial concentrations were higher in the indoor air samples during winter, while in the outdoor ones during summer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1230
JournalAerosol and Air Quality Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ambient aerosol
  • I/O ratio
  • indoor aerosol
  • microbes
  • PAH
  • particle chemical composition


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