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Personal exposure of children to air pollution

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JournalAtmospheric Environment
DatePublished - Jan 2009
Issue number1
Volume43
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)128-141
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Changes over recent decades in outdoor concentrations of air pollutants are well documented. However, the impacts of air pollution on an individual's health actually relate not to these outdoor concentrations but to their personal exposure in the different locations in which they spend time. Assessing how personal exposures differ from outdoor concentrations, and how they have changed over recent decades, is challenging. This review focuses on the exposure of children, since they are a particularly sensitive group, Much of children's time is spent indoors, and childhood exposure is closely related to concentrations in the home, at school, and in transport. For this reason, children's personal exposures to air pollutants differ significantly from both those of adults and from outdoor concentrations. They depend on a range of factors, including urbanisation, energy use, building design, travel patterns, and activity profiles: analysis of these factors can identify a wider range of policy measures to reduce children's exposure than direct emission control. There is a very large variation in personal exposure between individual children, caused by differences in building design, indoor and outdoor sources, and activity patterns. Identifying groups of children with high personal exposure. and their underlying causes, is particularly important in regions of the world where emissions are increasing, but there are limited resources for environmental and health protection. Although the science of personal exposure assessment, with the associated measurement and modelling techniques, has developed to maturity in North America and western Europe over the last 50 years, there is an urgent need to apply this science in other parts of the World where the effects of air Pollution are now Much more serious. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Personal exposure, Air pollution, Children, Indoor air quality, FINE PARTICULATE MATTER, VOLATILE ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS, CARBON-MONOXIDE EXPOSURE, 6 EUROPEAN CITIES, INDOOR AIR, NITROGEN-DIOXIDE, POPULATION EXPOSURE, OUTDOOR AIR, PREGNANT-WOMEN, WORKPLACE CONCENTRATIONS

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