Friday, June 19, 2009

Factors influencing relationships between personal and ambient concentrations of gaseous and particulate pollutants.

Factors influencing relationships between personal and ambient concentrations of gaseous and particulate pollutants.

Sci Total Environ. 2009 Jun 1;407(12):3754-65. Epub 2009 Mar 13

Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Previous exposure studies have shown considerable inter-subject variability in personal-ambient associations. This paper investigates exposure factors that may be responsible for inter-subject variability in these personal-ambient associations. The personal and ambient data used in this paper were collected as part of a personal exposure study conducted in Boston, MA, during 1999-2000. This study was one of a group of personal exposure panel studies funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Exposure Research Laboratory to address areas of exposure assessment warranting further study, particularly associations between personal exposures and ambient concentrations of particulate matter and gaseous co-pollutants. Twenty-four-hour integrated personal, home indoor, home outdoor and ambient sulfate, elemental carbon (EC), PM(2.5), ozone (O(3)), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) and sulfur dioxide were measured simultaneously each day. Fifteen homes in the Boston area were measured for 7 days during winter and summer. A previous paper explored the associations between personal-indoor, personal-outdoor, personal-ambient, indoor-outdoor, indoor-ambient and outdoor-ambient PM(2.5), sulfate and EC concentrations. For the current paper, factors that may affect personal exposures were investigated, while controlling for ambient concentrations. The data were analyzed using mixed effects regression models. Overall personal-ambient associations were strong for sulfate during winter (p<0.0001) and summer (p<0.0001) and PM(2.5) during summer (p<0.0001). The personal-ambient mixed model slope for PM(2.5) during winter but was not significant at p=0.10. Personal exposures to most pollutants, with the exception of NO(2), increased with ventilation and time spent outdoors. An opposite pattern was found for NO(2) likely due to gas stoves. Personal exposures to PM(2.5) and to traffic-related pollutants, EC and NO(2), were higher for those individuals living close to a major road. Both personal and indoor sulfate and PM(2.5) concentrations were higher for homes using humidifiers. The impact of outdoor sources on personal and indoor concentrations increased with ventilation, whereas an opposite effect was observed for the impact of indoor sources.

PMID: 19285709 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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