A re-examination of ambient air ozone monitor interferences.

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995)

PubMedID: 21141429

Spicer CW, Joseph DW, Ollison WM. A re-examination of ambient air ozone monitor interferences. J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2010;60(11):1353-64.
Attaining the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone (O3) could cost billions of dollars nationwide. Attainment of the NAAQS is judged on O3 measurements made by the Federal Reference Method (FRM), ethylene chemiluminescence, or a Federal Equivalent Method (FEM), predominantly ultraviolet (UV) absorption. Starting in the 1980s, FRM monitors were replaced by FEMs so that today virtually all monitoring in the United States uses the UV methodology. This report summarizes a laboratory and collocated ambient air monitoring study of interferences in O3 monitors. Potential interferences examined in the laboratory included water vapor, mercury, o-nitrophenol, naphthalene, p-tolualdehyde, and mixed reaction products from smog chamber simulations of urban atmospheric photochemistry. UV absorption O3 monitors modified for humidity equilibration were also collocated with UV FEM O3 monitors at six sites in Houston, TX, during the 2007 summer O3 season. The results suggest that humidity and interfering species can positively bias (overestimate) O3 measured by FEM monitors used to determine compliance with the O3 standards. The results also suggest that humidity equilibration can mitigate this bias.