Personal exposure to fine particulate air pollution while commuting: An examination of six transport modes on an urban arterial roadway

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 12, Issue 11)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,802 words
Lexile Measure: 1500L

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Abstract :

Traffic-related air pollution in urban areas contributes significantly to commuters' daily PM.sub.2.5 exposures, but varies widely depending on mode of commuting. To date, studies show conflicting results for PM.sub.2.5 exposures based on mode of commuting, and few studies compare multiple modes of transportation simultaneously along a common route, making inter-modal comparisons difficult. In this study, we examined breathing zone PM.sub.2.5 exposures for six different modes of commuting (bicycle, walking, driving with windows open and closed, bus, and light-rail train) simultaneously on a single 2.7 km (1.68 mile) arterial urban route in Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) during peak "rush hour" times. Using previously published minute ventilation rates, we estimated the inhaled dose and exposure rate for each mode of commuting. Mean PM.sub.2.5 concentrations ranged from 5.20 [mu]g/m.sup.3 for driving with windows closed to 15.21 [mu]g/m.sup.3 for driving with windows open. The estimated inhaled doses over the 2.7 km route were 6.83 [mu]g for walking, 2.78 [mu]g for cycling, 1.28 [mu]g for light-rail train, 1.24 [mu]g for driving with windows open, 1.23 [mu]g for bus, and 0.32 [mu]g for driving with windows closed. Similarly, the exposure rates were highest for cycling (18.0 [mu]g/hr) and walking (16.8 [mu]g/hr), and lowest for driving with windows closed (3.7 [mu]g/hr). Our findings support previous studies showing that active commuters receive a greater PM.sub.2.5 dose and have higher rates of exposure than commuters using automobiles or public transportation. Our findings also support previous studies showing that driving with windows closed is protective against traffic-related PM.sub.2.5 exposure.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A513993319