Understanding intra-neighborhood patterns in PM2.5 and PM 10 using mobile monitoring in Braddock, PA

Brett J. Tunno, Kyra Naumoff Shields, Paul Lioy, Nanjun Chu, Joseph B. Kadane, Bambang Parmanto, Gede Pramana, Jennifer Zora, Cliff Davidson, Fernando Holguin, Jane E. Clougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Braddock, Pennsylvania is home to the Edgar Thomson Steel Works (ETSW), one of the few remaining active steel mills in the Pittsburgh region. An economically distressed area, Braddock exceeds average annual (>15 μg/m§ssup§3§esup§) and daily (>35 μg/ m§ssup§3§esup§) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM2.5). Methods. A mobile air monitoring study was designed and implemented in morning and afternoon hours in the summer and winter (2010-2011) to explore the within-neighborhood spatial and temporal (within-day and between-day) variability in PM2.5 and PM10. Results: Both pollutants displayed spatial variation between stops, and substantial temporal variation within and across study days. For summer morning sampling runs, site-specific mean PM2.5 ranged from 30.0 (SD = 3.3) to 55.1 (SD = 13.0) μg/m§ssup§3§esup§. Mean PM10 ranged from 30.4 (SD = 2.5) to 69.7 (SD = 51.2) μg/m§ssup§3§esup§, respectively. During summer months, afternoon concentrations were significantly lower than morning for both PM 2.5 and PM10, potentially owing to morning subsidence inversions. Winter concentrations were lower than summer, on average, and showed lesser diurnal variation. Temperature, wind speed, and wind direction predicted significant variability in PM2.5 and PM10 in multiple linear regression models. Conclusions: Data reveals significant morning versus afternoon variability and spatial variability in both PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations within Braddock. Information obtained on peak concentration periods, and the combined effects of industry, traffic, and elevation in this region informed the design of a larger stationary monitoring network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number76
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • "Braddock
  • "Mobile monitoring"
  • "Particulate matter"
  • "Spatial and temporal variability"
  • Pennsylvania"

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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