Articles | Volume 6, issue 7
Research article
11 Jul 2013
Research article |  | 11 Jul 2013

Development and testing of an online method to measure ambient fine particulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) based on the 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin (DCFH) assay

L. E. King and R. J. Weber

Abstract. An online, semi-continuous instrument to measure fine particle (PM2.5) reactive oxygen species (ROS) was developed based on the fluorescent probe 2'7'-dichlorofluorescin (DCFH). Parameters that influence probe response were first characterized to develop an optimal method for use in a field instrument. The online method used a mist chamber scrubber to collect total (gas plus particle) ROS components (ROSt) alternating with gas phase ROS (ROSg) by means of an inline filter. Particle phase ROS (ROSp) was determined by the difference between ROSt and ROSg. The instrument was deployed in urban Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and at a rural site during various seasons. Concentrations from the online instrument generally agreed well with those from an intensive filter measurement of ROSp. Concentrations of the ROSp measurements made with this instrument were lower than reported in other studies, often below the instrument's average limit of detection (0.15 nmol H2O2 equivalents m−3). Mean ROSp concentrations were 0.26 nmol H2O2 equivalents m−3 at the Atlanta urban sites compared to 0.14 nmol H2O2 equivalents m−3 at the rural site.