Residential indoor PM10 and PM2.5 in Hong Kong and the elemental composition

Christopher Y. Chao, Kelvin K. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

198 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor air particulate samples were collected in 34 homes and their adjacent outdoor environments in Hong Kong during the fall and winter seasons. It was found that the mean indoor PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were 45.0 and 63.3 μg m-3, respectively. The corresponding mean outdoor levels were 47.0 and 69.5 μg m-3, respectively. The indoor particulate levels were found to be about 2-4 times higher than those in the homes in western countries where most are located in suburb areas with a much better ambient air quality. Pearson paired t-tests were conducted on the data and it was found that poor correlation was seen in the indoor and the outdoor particulate concentrations. This was probably due to the fact that windows were closed more often in the fall and winter seasons keeping the ventilation rate low, plus the factor that window type air conditioners were used commonly in Hong Kong, which again, constituted to a low air change rate. Both the indoor and the outdoor elemental compositions of the particulate samples collected in these 34 homes were identified by proton-induced X-ray emission analysis. Seventeen elements were identified. The mean inorganic elemental compositions in the indoor PM2.5 and PM10 samples were 6.4 and 10.2 μg m-3, respectively while those in the outdoor samples were 7.9 and 14.1 μg m-3, respectively. Enrichment factor analysis was performed and it was noted that those species existing in fine mode were highly enriched (bromine, lead, nickel, potassium, sulfur, vanadium and zinc) while those species existing in the coarse mode had their enrichment factors close to 1 (aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, silicon, sodium and titanium).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Elemental species
  • Homes
  • Indoor air quality
  • PM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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