Personal exposure to fine particulate matter concentrations in central business district of a tropical coastal city

2017-12-07T20:07:43Z (GMT) by Jyothi S. Menon S.M. Shiva Nagendra
<p>In the present study, personal exposure to fine particulate matter (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm [PM<sub>2.5</sub>]) concentrations in an urban hotspot (central business district [CBD]) was investigated. The PM monitoring campaigns were carried out at an urban hotspot from June to October 2015. The personal exposure monitoring was performed during three different time periods, i.e., morning (8 a.m.−9 a.m.), afternoon (12.30 p.m.–1.30 p.m.), and evening (4 p.m.–5 p.m.), to cover both the peak and lean hour activities of the CBD. The median PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations were 38.1, 34.9, and 40.4 µg/m<sup>3</sup> during the morning, afternoon, and evening hours on the weekends. During weekdays, the median PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations were 59.5, 29.6, and 36.6 µg/m<sup>3</sup> in the morning, afternoon, and evening hours, respectively. It was observed that the combined effect of traffic emissions, complex land use, and micrometeorological conditions created localized air pollution hotspots. Furthermore, the total PM<sub>2.5</sub> lung dose levels for an exposure duration of 1 hr were 8.7 ± 5.7 and 12.3 ± 5.2 µg at CBD during weekends and weekdays, respectively, as compared with 2.5 ± 0.8 µg at the urban background (UB). This study emphasizes the need for mobile measurement for short-term personal exposure assessment complementing the fixed air quality monitoring.</p> <p><i>Implications</i>: Personal exposure monitoring at an urban hotspot indicated space and time variation in PM concentrations that is not captured by the fixed air quality monitoring networks. The short-term exposure to higher concentrations can have a significant impact on health that need to be considered for the health risk–based air quality management. The study emphasizes the need of hotspot-based monitoring complementing the already existing fixed air quality monitoring in urban areas. The personal exposure patterns at hotspots can provide additional insight into sustainable urban planning.</p>