The Decay of Aerosol Concentration as a Function of Time Comparing the Effects of AHPCO and Bi-Polar and an Analysis of Aeroallergens, Fungal Spores and Pollen in the Texas Panhandle Area
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Abstract One of the top environmental concerns of the world today is air pollution, which is affecting our health every day (Bickerstaff & Walker, 2001). Studies have shown that air pollution has a major effect in human health by increasing sickness and death (Dockery, & Pope III, 1994). A major form of air pollution is aerosol; scientists describe it as tiny, airborne solid and liquid particles that are released by Earth's surface both naturally and as a product of human activities (Simmon, & Voiland, 2010; NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory [NOAA], 2017). Our biggest problem with air pollution is the aerosols in the form of Particulate Matter (PM), also known as particulate pollution. The most dangerous particulate matters are those which are less than 10 micrometers, because when inhaled, they can reach deep down into our lungs and even into our bloodstreams (U.S Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], “Particulate Matter (PM) Basic,” 2016). The primary source of outdoor particulate matter 2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5) is growing population, growing industries, exponential increase in the number of motor vehicles in the cities, power plants, trade, and burning of fossil fuels; indoor PM 2.5 include cooking, smoking and cleaning activities (Biswas et al., 2008; Dockery, & Pope III, 1994). In the U.S, the time spent indoors by an employed person is 92%, whether it be at home, work, or school, etc. (Behar et al., 2001). Due to growing concerns of indoor air quality, demand for air purifiers has risen, and attempts in invention of a high quality air purifier has increased as well. The purpose of this study was to test a new kind of airpurifier, and help the public make the right choice for their health. In this research I did several experiments using the Air Oasis filter-less air purifier Advanced Hydrated Photo Catalytic Oxidation (AHPCO) and Bi-polar units to see the decay of aerosol concentration as function of time. In higher concentration a prominent rate of decay was measured when using the Air Oasis units however, there has not been any notable effect in using the units in lower concentration. Aeroallergens affect millions of people each year (Ghosh, Saadeh, Gaylor, & Aurora. 2006). Allergen can be any foreign substance that can provoke a reaction such as food, dust particles, medication, insect venom and also mold spores and pollen; causing an allergy, a sensitivity to these substances that are normally harmless to people (Ghosh et al., 2017). In this study I analyzed the two most common types of aeroallergens, fungal spore and pollen. The analysis was done for the summer months of 2015, 2016 and 2017. The graph obtained from the data collected during these periods of time, showed that during higher precipitation, lower amounts of pollen and mold were discovered. A constant high number of pollen and mold was observed in the summer of 2017 compared to the summer months of 2015 and 2016.