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Exposure to fine particles (PM2.5 and PM1) and black smoke in the general population: personal, indoor, and outdoor levels

Journal article
Authors Sandra Johannesson
Pernilla Gustafson
Peter Molnár
Lars Barregård
Gerd Sällsten
Published in Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Volume 17
Issue 7
Pages 613-24
ISSN 1559-064X
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 613-24
Language en
Subject categories Environmental medicine


Personal exposure to PM(2.5) and PM(1), together with indoor and residential outdoor levels, was measured in the general adult population (30 subjects, 23-51 years of age) of Gothenburg, Sweden. Simultaneously, urban background concentrations of PM(2.5) were monitored with an EPA WINS impactor. The 24-h samples were gravimetrically analyzed for mass concentration and black smoke (BS) using a smokestain reflectometer. Median levels of PM(2.5) were 8.4 mug/m(3) (personal), 8.6 mug/m(3) (indoor), 6.4 mug/m(3) (residential outdoor), and 5.6 mug/m(3) (urban background). Personal exposure to PM(1) was 5.4 mug/m(3), while PM(1) indoor and outdoor levels were 6.2 and 5.2 mug/m(3), respectively. In non-smokers, personal exposure to PM(2.5) was significantly higher than were residential outdoor levels. BS absorption coefficients were fairly similar for all microenvironments (0.4-0.5 10(-5) m(-1)). Personal exposure to particulate matter (PM) and BS was well correlated with indoor levels, and there was an acceptable agreement between personal exposure and urban background concentrations for PM(2.5) and BS(2.5) (r(s)=0.61 and 0.65, respectively). PM(1) made up a considerable amount (70-80%) of PM(2.5) in all microenvironments. Levels of BS were higher outdoors than indoors and higher during the fall compared with spring. The correlations between particle mass and BS for both PM(2.5) vs. BS(2.5) and PM(1) versus BS(1) were weak for all microenvironments including personal exposure. The urban background station provided a good estimate of residential outdoor levels of PM(2.5) and BS(2.5) within the city (r(s)=0.90 and 0.77, respectively). Outdoor levels were considerably affected by long-range transported air pollution, which was not found for personal exposure or indoor levels. The within-individual (day-to-day) variability dominated for personal exposure to both PM(2.5) and BS(2.5) in non-smokers.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 18 April 2007; doi:10.1038/sj.jes.7500562.

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