Technical Note: Particulate reactive oxygen species concentrations and their association with environmental conditions in an urban, subtropical climate
Abstract. Reactions between hydrocarbons and ozone or hydroxyl radicals lead to the formation of oxidized species, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) in the troposphere. ROS can be carried deep into the lungs by small aerodynamic particles where they can cause oxidative stress and cell damage. While environmental studies have focused on ROS in the gas phase and rainwater, it is also important to determine concentrations of ROS on respirable particles. Samples of PM2.5 collected over 3 h at midday on 40 days during November 2011 and September 2012 show that the particulate ROS concentration in Austin, Texas, ranged from a minimum value of 0.02 nmoles H2O2 m−3 air in December to 3.81 nmoles H2O2 m−3 air in September. Results from correlation tests and linear regression analysis on particulate ROS concentrations and environmental conditions (which included ozone and PM2.5 concentrations, temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and solar radiation) indicate that ambient particulate ROS is significantly influenced by the ambient ozone concentration, temperature and incident solar radiation. Particulate ROS concentrations measured in this study were in the range reported by other studies in the US, Taiwan and Singapore. This study is one of the first to assess seasonal variations in particulate ROS concentrations and helps explain the influence of environmental conditions on particulate ROS concentrations.