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Name: JackH_____________

Hour: 5______________

Measuring Particulate Air Pollution

Pre-lab Questions:
What is particulate air pollution?
How does the EPA categorize particulate matter?
What are the health effects of each category of particulate matter?
What are some of the environmental damages of particulate matter?

Materials: Slides with double sided tape in petri dishes labeled accordingly, Microscope
Where do you expect to find the highest and lowest numbers of particulate matter?

1. Label petri dishes according to where they were located.
2. Allow slides to sit exposed in several different locations for __5_ days
3. Keep one slide in a closed petri dish as a control
4. Use a microscope to observe the particulates that have accumulated on each slide.
Take note of the types of particles on each slide
5. Set the microscope at 100x magnification. Without moving the slide, count all the
particulates you see. Record your total count on the data table.
6. Look at a second microscope field that does not overlap the first. Count and
record that number of particulates. Repeat one more time.
7. Calculate the average particulate count on each slide.
8. Find the actual number of particles deposited on each slide by subtracting the
average count from the control from each slides average count.
How to put your slides together!!
1. Make sure your slides and petri dish are completely clean. If not, clean them with
soap and water.
2. Take three plastic slides per person and put one piece of double stick tape on each one.
Make sure to try and not leave any finger prints behind.
3. Put each of the slides with the tape into a petri dish. Put the cover on top of your dish.
Put one piece of masking tape on top of the dish. This will mark the location. If you
know the location you want to use at home go ahead and mark it now. Put your full name
on the masking tape.
4. Take all three dishes and tape them together in a stack of three.
5. Take the last remaining dish and make this your control. You will put a piece of two
sided tape onto the slide and put it in the dish. You will leave it on your table until next
week. Make sure to put you and your partners name on the dish with the word control.
6. As you take these home be very careful. Do not flip the dishes over, drop them or
contaminate them in any way. Put them in a secure location in the room you want to test
as soon as you get home!!!

Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5

Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:
Bathroom Kitchen Hallway Kitchen Control
(Jack) (Daniel)
Days exposed 5 5 5 5 0
Field 1 56 47 5 5 1
Field 2 79 28 14 47 0
Field 3 96 19 16 42 1
Average count 77 31.33 11.67 37.33 .667
Total number 231 94 35 112 2

Bar Graph:
Average Particulates trapped in each location

Number of particulates


1 (77) 2(31.33) 3 (35) 4 (37.33)


Blue = bathroom
Brown = Kitchen (Jack)
Grey = Hallway
Yellow = Bathroom (Daniel)
White = Control
Put into words the trends you see in your data. Restate your important data.

The data found presented our lab team with a source teaming with information for
analysis. Firstly, the particulates in rooms with a lot of human contact and exposure had
more particulates than areas with less human exposure and contact. This is evidenced by
the bathroom and kitchen, which both had more total particles than the hallway; this is
due to the fact that humans are in these rooms more often and for longer periods of times.
Hallways are usually used just to traverse from room to room and dont have much
human contact. Thats why the total count of bathroom particles was 196 particles greater
than the hallway, and the both kitchen particulates outranked the hallway slide by 77 and
59 particles.
What was your original hypothesis? Did your data support your hypothesis? Why or
why not?

The original hypothesis was that the bathroom would have the highest amount of
particulate matter due to the splattering of waste into the toilet and aerosols sprays being
released. The data did support end up supporting my hypothesis. The average count for
the bathroom was 77, which was 39.67 higher than the next highest location. No matter
which field you looked at, the bathroom outclassed the other locations in particulates.
This shows how much dirtier the bathroom was compared to the other locations. This is
probably because people put their excrement in toilets and wash their hands off in sinks.
By doing so people wash their dust, dirt, and other particles as well pass on their bowel
movements that also contain particulates into the bathroom. Also when people flush their
toilets they flush fecal matter and other particulates into the air. Not to mention, any
particulate matter stored in aerosol sprays is released into the air when they are sprayed.
Thats probably why bathrooms have the social stigma of being very dirty and unsanitary
places. People also put their bare bottoms on toilets which deposits anything the person
has sat on or particulates from their clothes onto the toilets. The next dirtiest location was
the kitchen; this probably because people make food in the kitchen and this food can
leave behind particulates. People also cook food in the kitchen and by doing so can cause
particles to erupt from their pans and into the air. This explains why the total count of
particulates was 112 and second in terms of number of particulate matter. However, since
we did two kitchen slides, we had different data for the kitchen portion of the lab, but
both kitchen slides had more particulate matter than the hallway and control. This was
most likely due to the general upkeep of the kitchen and how much food and organic
material is cooked in the kitchen.

What law regulates the levels of particulate matter in the air?

The Clean Air Act.