Archives: Air quality (outdoor)

 

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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Adams 2001 - "Determinants of Fine Particle (PM2.5) Personal Exposure Levels in Transport Microenvironments, London, UK"

Adams, HS; Nieuwenhuijsen, MJ; Colvile, RN
"Determinants of Fine Particle (PM2.5) Personal Exposure Levels in Transport Microenvironments, London, UK"
Atmospheric Environment
September 2001 v.35, n.27; pp.4557-4566
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Relevance: medium-low

The authors measured concentrations of fine PM on fixed routes using different modes (car, bus, bicycle) in London. They found that route was a significant factor, explaining 20% of the variation, but mode was not. Wind speed explained 18% of the variation. "Personal exposure levels were reasonable correlated with urban background FSM [fixed site monitor] concentrations."

 

Batterman 2002 - “Levels and Composition of Volatile Organic Compounds on Commuting Routes in Detroit, Michigan”

Batterman, Stuart A; Peng, Chung-Yu; and Braun, James.
“Levels and Composition of Volatile Organic Compounds on Commuting Routes in Detroit, Michigan”
Atmospheric Environment
December 2002; v.36,n.39-40; pp.6015-6030
On the Web
Relevance: high

Batterman et al measured VOCs in cars and buses during rush hour on commercial, industrial, and residential routes in Detroit, Michigan.  They found that:

  • VOC concentrations along roadways and in buses were similar;
  • route did not much affect differences in air quality; however, the buses all traveled on congested 4 lane roads during rush hour; and
  • VOC concentration varied significantly over time, which the authors attribute to changes in weather, mainly inversions and wind speed and direction;
  • vehicle sources dominate industrial sources in influencing urban VOC concentrations, corroborating earlier studies; and
  • VOC concentrations on roadways were much higher than concentrations at the two fixed-site monitoring stations in Detroit.  For example, BTEX concentrations measured at the fixed sites were 2-4 times lower than levels measured in traffic.

 

Kim 2001 - “Concentrations and Sources of VOCs in Urban Domestic and Public Microenvironments”

Kim, Young Min; Harrad, Stuart; Harrison, Roy M.
“Concentrations and Sources of VOCs in Urban Domestic and Public Microenvironments”
Environmental Science and Technology
March 15, 2001; v.35, n.6; pp.997-1004
On the Web
Relevance: high

Concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured in a wide range of urban microenvironments (including homes, offices, shops, roadsides, buses, trains, and cars) in Birmingham, UK.  Of transportation microenvironments, cars had the highest mean concentrations of most of the VOCs measured; however the automobiles in the study were over 10 years old and smoking occurred in 6 of them during sampling.

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Frank 2000 - "Linking land use with household vehicle emissions in the central Puget Sound"

Frank, Lawrence, Brian Stone Jr., and William Bachman. 2000.
"Linking Land Use with Household Vehicle Emissions in the Central Puget Sound: Methodological Framework and Findings."
2000, Transportation Research Part D 5, 3: 173-96.
On the web
Relevance: high

Frank and colleagues used data from the Puget Sound Transportation Panel (a survey of 1,700 households taken every 2 years) to estimate the total amount of vehicle pollution (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds) generated by households in different kinds of neighborhoods.

They concluded that households in higher-density neighborhoods, with more interconnected street grids, and with greater mixes of land use, produced lower total emissions than households in more sprawling neighborhoods.  Also, as might be expected, long-distance commutes increased total household vehicle emissions.  Perhaps more surprisingly, commutes to places with very high employment density (e.g., downtowns) were associated with lower total household vehicle emissions -- though this effect that was seen mostly for the places with the densest employment.

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