• Journal Article

An evaluation of the protein mass of particulate matter


Menetrez, M. Y., Foarde, K., Dean, T. R., Betancourt, D. A., & Moore, S. A. (2007). An evaluation of the protein mass of particulate matter. Atmospheric Environment, 41(37), 8264-8274. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.06.021


This research study provides the characterization of mass percent of protein-based particulate matter in total ambient particulate matter collected in a metropolitan area of NC. The project determined the percentages of protein-based ambient bioaerosols for particles in the 2.5–10 ?m range and for particles in the range of 2.5 ?m or less in 298 samples taken over a six-month period. The analysis of total protein mass was used as an all-inclusive indicator of biologically based aerosols. These organic bioaerosols may have nucleated with inorganic non-biological aerosols, or they may be combined with inert aerosols. The source of these bioaerosols may be any combination of pollen, mold, bacteria, insect debris, fecal matter, or dander, and they may induce irritational, allergic, infectious, and chemical responses in exposed individuals. Ambient samples of PM2.5 and PM10?2.5 were analyzed for gravimetric mass and total protein mass. The results for 19 of 24 sample periods indicated that between 1% and 4% of PM10?2.5 and between 1% and 2% of PM2.5 mass concentrations were made of ambient protein bioaerosols. (The remaining 5 of 24 sample periods yielded protein results which were below detectable limits.)