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Ambient air quality is measured both continuously and non-continuously by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association.
Non-continuous monitoring consists of collecting air samples or exposing pollutant-sensitive, chemically treated sample media to the atmosphere for a period of time. Air pollutant concentrations are determined by laboratory analysis of the samples and exposed media. Exposure periods range from 24 hours to 1 month for various sample modes. Non-continuous monitoring is often referred to as integrated sampling, and is performed by both active and passive methods. Active methods utilize a computer controlled pump to draw air through or into the sample collector. Active methods are limited to sites where electrical power is available. Passive methods simply expose a chemically treated medium to the atmosphere. Without the need for support equipment, passive sampling can be performed at remote and isolated locations.
The table below provides a listing of stations and air quality parameters measured by integrated methods. Parameters measured include volatile organic compounds (VOC), particulate matter less than 2.5 µm aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and associated metals and ions, particulate matter less than 10 µm aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and associated metals and ions and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
Summary of parameters measured using integrated methods at WBEA sites