Counting Air Particulate Matter (page 3)

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Author: Jarred, Grade 7


In conclusion, my project was to find out, "Is there more air particulate matter in an urban or a rural area". For my project I chose three sites in an urban area and three sites in rural area. Then I placed slides smeared with a thin layer of Vaseline in each of these sites to capture particulate air pollution. I repeated the experiment three times and averaged the results. Based on my date there was more air particulate matter in the rural area as compared to the urban area. This was because the time of the year I sampled was during the corn and soybean harvest and that produced a lot of material. I do not think that this level of particulate matter is constant throughout the year but does occur when farmers are active in their fields. Also, the soot particles produced by automobiles and trucks in the urban area may have been too small to see and count.

The data that I recorded was opposite my hypothesis in one case but not another. I thought there would be more particulate pollution along the road as compared to the field or the forest. In the rural area my hypothesis was wrong. But in the urban area it was correct. I think that forests slow the movement of air. In the rural areas where there was crop harvesting, the particulate matter settled out. But in the urban area where there was no plant particles to settle out in the forest, the road had the greatest amount of particulate air pollution.


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  • American Lung Association, The Air Quality Index - Fact Sheet.
  • protection
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  • EPA, (, Particulate Matter. * EPA, (, Air Now.
  • Miller, Tyler, 1988. Environmental Science, 2nd edition. Wadsworth Belmont CA, pp. 318-346.
  • Oregon Department of the Environment, (, Air Quality Index.





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