Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Brian Leaderer

Second Advisor

Yawei Zhang


Today, 690 million people, or double the population of the United States, live in urban areas of China accounting for over 50% of the country's population. Many studies have analyzed the outdoor levels of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5) instead of indoors, where individuals spend the majority of their time. In this study, we investigated the levels of PM 2.5 and chemical composition of the PM in 15 households in Taiyuan, China. 24 hour measurements were captured on Teflon filters in China and then analyzed using X-ray fluorescence in the United States. Mass concentrations of the 32 filters from Taiyuan ranged from 38.6 µg/m3 to 127.7 µg/m3, with a mean of 65.1 µg/m3, over two times higher than the WHO standard. High levels of mercury, zinc, lead, manganese, copper, chromium and sulfur were found indoors of homes. Within a 24-hour sample period, 3 filters recorded lead levels higher than the EPA's 3 month rolling average of 150ng/m3 (nanograms per cubic meter), while all filters averaged a reading of 88 ng/m3. Our findings suggest that residents of Taiyuan, China are exposed to a large concentration of particulate matter and heavy metals inside their homes.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access