• Article

Monitoring study of the near-road PM2.5 concentrations in Maryland

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) monitoring program monitored the impact of vehicular emissions on the concentrations of the fine particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5). PM2.5 concentrations were monitored in close proximity to a highway in order to determine whether traffic conditions on the roadway impact concentrations at this location. The monitoring program attempted to connect monitored concentrations with the roadway traffic exhaust or with the other sources of PM2.5. PM2.5 concentrations were collected near the Capital Beltway (I-495/I-95) in Largo, Maryland. The monitoring program was launched on May 13, 2009 and continued through the end of 2012. Two co-located monitors, one for continuous PM2.5 measurements and the other for speciation measurements, were used in this program. Meteorological and traffic information was also continuously collected at or near the monitoring site. Additionally, data from the two other monitoring locations, one at the Howard University-Beltsville, MD and one at McMillan Reservoir, DC, was used for comparison with the data collected at the SHA monitoring location. The samples collected by the speciation monitor were analyzed at the RTI and DRI Laboratories to determine the composition and the sources of the collected PM2.5 samples. Based on the apportionment analysis, the contribution of roadway sources is about 12 to 17 percent of PM2.5 at the near-road site.Implications: PM2.5 monitoring at 150 m (approximately 500 feet) from a major highway in Maryland near Washington, DC, demonstrated that roadway traffic contributes to the total PM2.5 concentration near the roadway, but the contribution at such distance is small, in the order of 12-17% of the total


Ginzburg, H., Liu, X., Baker, M., Shreeve, R., Jayanty, R., Campbell, D., & Zielinska, B. (2015). Monitoring study of the near-road PM2.5 concentrations in Maryland. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 65(9), 1062-1071. https://doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2015.1056887