Archives: Air quality (general)

 

Payne-Sturges 2004 - "Personal Exposure Meets Risk Assessment: A Comparison of Measured and Modeled Exposure and Risks in an Urban Community"

Payne-Sturges, Devon C; Burke, Thomas A.; et al.
"Personal Exposure Meets Risk Assessment: A Comparison of Measured and Modeled Exposure and Risks in an Urban Community"
Environmental Health Perspectives
April 2004; v.112, n.5; pp.589-598
On the Web
Relevance: low

The authors measured personal exposure, indoor concentrations, and outdoor concentrations of VOCs in South Baltimore, an area near chemical industries and an interstate highway. They found that personal exposure was generally higher than indoor concentrations, which were higher than outdoor concentrations. The authors report these concentrations and the associated cancer risks. Their main goal was to compare their measured estimates to estimates from the ASPEN model.

 

Levy 2000 - "Particle Concentrations in Urban Microenvironments"

Levy, Jonathan I; Houseman, E. Andres; et al.
"Particle Concentrations in Urban Microenvironments"
Environmental Health Perspectives
November 2000; v.108, n.11; pp.1051-1057.
On the Web
Relevance: medium

The authors measured particulate matter indoors and outdoors in seven microenvironments (subway, bus, restaurant, hospital, gymnasium, museum, store) in Boston. Particle counts for PM 0.3-0.5 were generally higher inside the subway and bus than outdoors, but lower inside the store, hospital, and museum. Particle counts overall were higher inside the subway and bus than outside.

 

Wong 2004 - "Assessing the Health Benefits of Air Pollution Reduction for Children"

Wong, Eva Y; Gohlke, Julia; et al.
"Assessing the Health Benefits of Air Pollution Reduction for Children"
Environmental Health Perspectives
February 2004; v.112, n.2; pp.226-232
On the Web
Relevance: low

The authors estimated the health and economic benefits to children of reductions in criteria air pollutants (except lead) due to the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2010. They estimated a savings of $1-2 billion from fewer hospitalizations, emergency room visits, school absences, and low birth weight. The also estimated a savings of $0.6-$100 billion from decreased mortality.

 

PSCAA 2003 - "Final Report: Puget Sound Air Toxics Evaluation"

Keill, Leslie; Maykut, Naydene
"Final Report: Puget Sound Air Toxics Evaluation"
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Washington State Department of Ecology
October 2003
On the Web
Relevance: high

In this preliminary study, PSCAA measured and modeled exposure to outdoor air toxics in 6 locations around western King County, including Beacon Hill, Lake Sammamish, and Seatac. They estimated cancer risk using several methods, including one that takes into account commuting. They also seem to suggest that it may not matter much what macroenvironment you live in (i.e., Beacon Hill vs. Lake Sammammish): "Concentrations, and corresponding risks, were relatively consistent among areas measured and modeled throughout the Puget Sound region. Although some differences were apparent, overall it is clear that the sites and the region as a whole have similar emission sources of concern (e.g., diesel particulate matter, mobile-source-related VOCs, and probably woodsmoke)." Smaller geographical scale factors (busy road, factory, cleaning products) are not accounted for.

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Davies 2005 - "Economic Costs of Diseases and Disabilities Attributable to Environmental Contaminants in Washington State"

Davies, Kate; Hauge, Dietrich.
"Economic Costs of Diseases and Disabilities Attributable to Environmental Contaminants in Washington State"
Collaborative for Health and Environment-Washington Research and Information Working Group
July 2005
On the Web
Relevance: low

The authors estimated the health costs attributable to environmental contaminants in Washington (for selected diseases) by applying national and other state studies to Washington's population. They use national estimates of the Environmentally Attributable Fraction Range (EAFR) of diseases due to contaminants, disease and population rates for Washington, and disease cost estimates. They conclude that the total cost is $1.8 billion (2004$) for children and $2.7 billion for adults and children.

Unfortunately, this study does not really estimate the costs for Washington, but rather Washington's likely share of national costs because the study uses national attribution rates rather than WA specific ones.  For example, it may be that a higher or lower fraction of asthma in WA is due to environmental contaminants.

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Sexton 2004 - "Comparison of Personal, Indoor, and Outdoor Exposures to Hazardous Air Pollutants in Three Urban Communities"

Sexton, Ken; Adgate, John L; et al.
"Comparison of Personal, Indoor, and Outdoor Exposures to Hazardous Air Pollutants in Three Urban Communities"
Environmental Science and Technology
2004; v.38, n.2; pp.423-430
On the Web
Relevance: high

The authors measure personal, indoor, and outdoor exposures to 15 VOCs in three different neighborhoods of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. They found that outdoor community air monitors greatly underestimate personal exposures and that even indoor monitors underestimate personal exposure. For example, for benzene, the personal/outdoor (P/O) ratio of estimated relative concentrations is 6.8, while the personal/indoor concentration (P/I) is 1.6.

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Marshall 2005 - "Inhalation of Motor Vehicles Emissions: Effects of Urban Population and Land Area"

Marshall, Julian D; McKone, Thomas E; et al
"Inhalation of Motor Vehicles Emissions: Effects of Urban Population and Land Area"
Atmospheric Environment
January 2005; v.39, n.2; pp.283-295
On the Web
Relevance: low

The authors developed a preliminary, theoretical model of how air quality is affected by different development patters: sprawl, infill, and constant-density growth. Their conclusions depend on the elasticity of emissions: how big a change in emissions is cause by a change in density. If emissions decrease greatly from increased density, then infill is best.  If emissions decrease by only a little, then constant density growth is best.

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Leung 1998 - "Evaluation of Personal Exposure to Monoaromatic Hydrocarbons"

Leung, Pei-Ling; Harrison, Roy M
"Evaluation of Personal Exposure to Monoaromatic Hydrocarbons"
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
April 1998; v.55, n.4; pp. 249-257
On the Web
Relevance: high

The authors measured the exposure of 50 volunteers in the UK to various monoaromatic hydrocarbons (MAHs) over the course of 12 hour days. They found that urban volunteers were exposed to more MAHs than non-urban volunteers. Most of the total exposure is from the home, despite low concentrations, due to the vast amount of time spent there. Although little time is spent driving, the high concentration of MAHs in vehicles made it a noticeable contributor for office workers (5% of total exposure) 

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Allen 2004 - "Estimated Hourly Personal Exposures to Ambient and Nonambient Particulate Matter Among Sensitive Populations in Seattle"

Allen, Ryan; Wallace, Lance; et al.
"Estimated Hourly Personal Exposures to Ambient and Nonambient Particulate Matter Among Sensitive Populations in Seattle"
Journal of Air and Waste Management
September 2004; v.54; n.9; pp.1197-1411
On the Web
Relevance: High

The authors measured the concentration of particulate matter in various mircoenvironments (home indoors, home outdoors, work, school, in transit, other outdoors, other indoors) and the average exposure for 38 subjects in Seattle. The subjects selected were "sensetive populations" with asthma, coronary heart disease, or advanced age. The major findings were:

  • The best air was indoors at home; the worst air was at work, followed by outdoors and in transit.
  • Because subjects spend so much time at home, most of their exposure (79%) occured there.
  • There was a low correlation between ambient and personal exposures (0.43) compared to findings from other studies. This means that localized sources highly affect personal exposure (i.e. cooking fumes vs.general air quality)

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Kingham 1998 - "Assessment of Exposure to Traffic-Related Fumes During the Journey to Work"

Kingham, Simon; Meaton, Julia; et al.
"Assessment of Exposure to Traffic-Related Fumes During the Journey to Work"
Transportation Research, Part D
July 1998; v.3, n.4; pp.271-274
On the Web
Relevance: medium-low

In a pilot study, the authors measured commuter's exposure to benzene and particulates using different modes (car, bus, train, road cyclist, path cyclist) but along similar routes(?). Findings include:

  • The car driver had the highest mean exposure to benzene (108.3 micrograms/m^3) a factor of at least 4 and also the highest mean exposure to particulates (7.6 absorbance), but by a much smaller margin.
  • Train riders had the lowest benzene exposure (12.9) and path cyclists had the lowest particulate exposure (2.7).
  • The bus was slightly better than the road bike
  • The exposure ratios for the car driver to the road cyclist were 4.05 for benzene and 1.26 for particulates.
  • The exposure ratios for the road cyclist to the path cyclist were 1.73 for benzene and 2.41 for particulates.