Children’s exposure assessment to particulate matter in Lisbon metropolitan area
Title: Children’s exposure assessment to particulate matter in Lisbon metropolitan area
Summary: Cunha-Lopes I., Martins V., Faria T., Correia C., Almeida S.M.
The exposure to air pollution, in particular to particulate matter (PM), has several adverse effects on human health and may induce or aggravate vascular and respiratory diseases, especially in urban areas. Black carbon (BC) represents about 23% of the PM2.5 mass and it comes mainly from incomplete combustion processes, burning of biomass and cooking. The human exposure to air pollutants occurs in diverse microenvironments (MEs), where pollutants may originate from a wide variety of outdoor and indoor sources, and it depends on time spent in each microenvironment (ME) and activity performed. In this way, personal measurements are essential to assess the individual exposure, since it takes into account the time-activity patterns and it portrays the daily exposure to PM to which a person is exposed to. Children are considered a vulnerable group to the harmful effects of air pollutants because their defense mechanisms are still evolving and they inhale a higher volume of air per body weight than adults.
The aim of this work was to quantify the children’s daily exposure to size-fractioned PM and BC, and to assess the contribution of each activity and ME to the daily exposure and inhaled dose. Nine children aged 7-10 living and studying in Lisbon metropolitan area were selected to carry personal monitors during 72h. Each child carried a trolley with equipment: a SKC Leland Legacy pump connected to a personal cascade impactor to collect the particles in different size ranges below 2.5μm, a micro-aethalometer AE51 that assessed BC concentrations and a GPS that registered the coordinates of the routes.
The average PM2.5 children exposure (19 μg/m3) was higher than those obtained in the nearest fixed urban background station (11 μg/m3), indicating the importance of assessing the personal daily exposure. The average exposure to PM1, PM0.5 and PM0.25 was 14 μg/m3, 11 μg/m3, and 7.7 μg/m3, respectively. Time-activity pattern showed that children spent most of their time indoors, especially at home (55%) and in the classroom (22%), where they received 44% of the daily BC dose (Figure 1). Children spent only 5% of the daily time commuting, however the highest BC dose intensity was observed in this ME due to the high BC concentrations. Time series analysis of the BC concentrations showed high peaks in underground parking lots, during indoor candle burning and during charcoal grills.
This study may be used to support the development of measures and policies focusing in the reduction of PM and BC concentrations in order to improve children’s health and wellbeing.
This work was supported by LIFE Index-Air project (LIFE15 ENV/PT/000674). Authors gratefully acknowledge the FCT support through the UID/Multi/04349/2013 project and the PhD grant SFRH/BD/129149/2017. This work reflects only the authors’ view and EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Type of publication: Oral Abstract of ICEH 2019 (Lisbon, Portugal, 25-27 September)
How to cite: Cunha-Lopes I., Martins V., Faria T., Correia C., Almeida S.M. (2019) Children’s exposure assessment to particulate matter in Lisbon metropolitan area. ICEH 2019 – 4th International Congress on Environmental Health, Lisbon, Portugal, 25-27 September.
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