The EML Surface Air Sampling Program


C. G. Sanderson, H.-N. Lee, F. Raccah, N. C. Chiu


The Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has maintained a worldwide network of surface air sampling stations (SASP) since 1963. Although the original purpose of this program was to monitor, measure, and inventory fall-out from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, its current mission is to support homeland security. Highly efficient polypropylene filters that collect airborne particles are analyzed for gamma-ray–emitting radionuclides at some sites before being sent to EML, or they are sent directly to EML for gamma-ray analysis. Initially, samplers were deployed along the 80th meridian. However, during the course of the program some sampling stations have been closed and new ones installed so that worldwide coverage could be maintained. The SASP network, using the concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides, such as Be-7 and Pb-210, has provided data for transport modeling of radioactive debris. Currently, the SASP network of samplers is being expanded to include Asian Global Atmospheric Watch sites of the World Meteorological Organization.


This abstract was presented at the 37th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Air Monitoring and Internal Dosimetry", Homeland Security and Air Monitoring Session, 2/8/2004 - 2/11/2004, held in Augusta, GA.

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