Indoor/outdoor PM2.5 elemental composition and organic fraction medications, in a Greek hospital

Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 550, 727–735, (2016). doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.070
Indoor/outdoor PM2.5 elemental composition and organic fraction medications,  in a Greek hospital
                        G. Loupa, A.M. Zarogianni, D. Karali, I. Kosmadakis, S. Rapsomanikis
Abstract. In the newly constructed General Hospital of Kavala, Greece, air quality was monitored in two indoor locations (the Triage room at the emergency department and the Laboratory of bio-pathology) and also outdoors. Indoor P2.5 filter samples were collected at both rooms and outdoors, in the yard of the hospital. PM2.5 organic content and elemental composition were determined. Analyses of selected organic compounds in PM2.5 samples, revealed that chemicals from medications were distributed in the air of the hospital. Qualitatively, dehydrocholic acid, hydrocortisone acetate, gama-bufotalin, syrosingopine, dimethyl phthalate and o,p′-DDT were found in the Triage. In the bio-pathology laboratory, triethoxypentylsilane and carbohydrazide were also found. An unex- pected air pollutant pathway was the pneumatic system which delivered the blood samples from the emergency department to the bio-pathology laboratory, as the presence of gama-bufotalin and syrosingopine was found in the aerosol samples from both locations. Indoor PM2.5 24-h average mass concentration ranged from 10.16μgm−3 to 21.87 μgm−3 in the laboratory and between 9.86μgm−3 to 26.27μgm−3 in the Triage room, where the limit value set for human health protection, i.e. 25μgm−3 for 24 h, was exceeded once. The I/O 24-h average PM2.5 mass concentration ratio, ranged from 0.74–1.11 in the Triage and from 0.67 –1.07 in the Lab, respectively. On the contrary, the I/O elemental concentration ratios were below unity for the whole campaign, indicating an outdoor origin of the monitored elements (Al, Si, Br, P, S, Na, K, Mg, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Ti and Zn). This finding was also confirmed by high sulfur I/O ratios in both rooms. The diurnal variations of PM2.5, Black Carbon, CO2 concentrations and microclimatic conditions were also monitored.