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Article
Peer-Review Record

Using Low-Cost Sensors to Assess Fine Particulate Matter Infiltration (PM2.5) during a Wildfire Smoke Episode at a Large Inpatient Healthcare Facility

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9811; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18189811
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9811; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18189811
Received: 5 August 2021 / Revised: 13 September 2021 / Accepted: 16 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Sensors for Environmental Research and Public Health)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

- Keywords need to be added after the Abstract section.
- I suggest having a paragraph at the end of the Introduction section to show the article structure. 
- The authors need to have a Literature Review/Background section. This section should include the main keywords of this research to show the previous researches on this area. For example, the authors have to discuss the various available types of sensors that other researchers used in the AEC publications. The same for the other keywords. Hoping to help in this task, I provided some literature as examples:
* Utility of a Low-Cost, Dense Sensor Network for the Study of Air Quality Impact Upon Human Health in Urban and Rural Areas.
* High-Resolution Assessment of Air Quality in Urban Areas—A Business Model Perspective
* Digital twin-based progress monitoring management model through reality capture to extended reality technologies (DRX)
* The future of NDT with wireless sensors, AI and IoT
- The conclusion section can be improved. 
This is a great article. These are just some minor corrections, and the paper can be published after making these corrections. 

Author Response

Please see the attachment

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

The subject of the article "Using low-cost sensors to assess fine particulate matter infiltration (PM2.5) during a wildfire smoke episode at a large inpatient healthcare facility" is very important nowadays. The article is well written but requires some important corrections before publishing.

  1. The article does not refer to meteorological conditions (wind direction, wind speed, humidity, amount of precipitation) at the time of taking measurements. This is important because the degree of infiltration of pollutants into the building interior depends to a large extent on meteorological parameters. The introduction to the article should be extended and detailed information should be provided in point 2. Materials and Methods. It will be scientifically interesting to try to define the correlation between meteorological parameters and research results.
  2. There is no reference of PM2.5 measurement results outdoors with (if possible) data with professional measurement stations in the city to validate the data.
  3. The References of the article should be expanded with regard to the measurement of pollutant concentrations outside and inside the facilities: 
  • Zhu Y., Hinds W.C., Krudysz M., Kuhn T., Froines J., Sioutas C., 2005. Penetration of freeway ultrafine particles into indoor environments. Aerosol Sci. 36, 303–322. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/j.jaerosci.2004.09.007.
  • Su F-Ch., Mukherjee B., Batterman S. 2013. Determinants of personal, indoor and outdoor VOC concentrations: An analysis of the RIOPA data. Environmental Research, 126, 192–203. http://0-dx.doi.org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/j.envres.2013.08.005.
  • Cichowicz, R. A., Dobrzański, M. (2021). Indoor and Outdoor Concentrations of Particulate Matter and Gaseous Pollutants on Different Floors of a University Building: A Case Study. Journal of Ecological Engineering, 22(1), 162-173. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.12911/22998993/128859
  • Hong, B., Lin, B., & Qin, H. 2017. Numerical investigation on the coupled effects of building-tree arrangements on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) dispersion in housing blocks. Sustainable Cities and Society, 34, 358–370. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/J.SCS.2017.07.005.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

Thank you to the authors for the article correctly. Almost all of my comments were taken into account. Only the suggested literature items should be included in the work by the authors. 

Author Response

We are happy to hear that the revised manuscript has met the expectations of the reviewer. The papers suggested by the reviewer in the first round are as follows:

  • Zhu Y., Hinds W.C., Krudysz M., Kuhn T., Froines J., Sioutas C., 2005. Penetration of freeway ultrafine particles into indoor environments. Aerosol Sci. 36, 303–322. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/j.jaerosci.2004.09.007.
  • Su F-Ch., Mukherjee B., Batterman S. 2013. Determinants of personal, indoor and outdoor VOC concentrations: An analysis of the RIOPA data. Environmental Research, 126, 192–203. http://0-dx.doi.org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/j.envres.2013.08.005.
  • Cichowicz, R. A., Dobrzański, M. (2021). Indoor and Outdoor Concentrations of Particulate Matter and Gaseous Pollutants on Different Floors of a University Building: A Case Study. Journal of Ecological Engineering22(1), 162-173. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.12911/22998993/128859
  • Hong, B., Lin, B., & Qin, H. 2017. Numerical investigation on the coupled effects of building-tree arrangements on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) dispersion in housing blocks. Sustainable Cities and Society, 34, 358–370. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/J.SCS.2017.07.005.

Of these, we only found the Cichowicz paper to be relevant to our study. The Zhu paper focuses on ultrafine particles from traffic pollution, while we focus on PM2.5 from wildfire smoke. The Su paper focuses on volatile organic compounds, which we do not consider in this work. The Hong paper focuses on features of the surrounding environment and how they affect infiltration of outdoor PM2.5, which we also did not investigate. We read the Cichowicz paper with interest, as it is one of very few that considers infiltration into a multi-story building, even though they did not look and wildfire smoke specifically. Their methods were somewhat different from ours, but they showed interesting relationships between PM2.5 and height, and interesting consistency in the indoor/outdoor ratios. We have added information about this paper to the discussion rather than the introduction.

Again, we do not feel it is appropriate to cite the other papers in our manuscript. We leave any further judgement on this to the discretion of the editors. 

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