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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: In-cabin commuter exposure to ultrafine particles on Los Angeles freeways.

Authors: Zhu, Yifang; Eiguren-Fernandez, Arantzazu; Hinds, William C; Miguel, Antonio H

Published In Environ Sci Technol, (2007 Apr 01)

Abstract: Worldwide people are exposed to toxic ultrafine particles (UFP, with diameters (dp) less than 100 nm) and nanoparticles (NP, dp < 50 nm) under a variety of circumstances. To date, very limited information is available on human exposure to freshly emitted UFP and NP while traveling on major roads and freeways. We report in-cabin and outdoor measurements of particle number concentration and size distributions while driving three vehicles on Los Angeles freeways. Particle number concentrations and size distributions were measured under different vehicle ventilation settings. When the circulation fan was set to on, with substantial external air intake, outside changes in particle counts caused corresponding in-cabin changes approximately 30-60 s later, indicating an maximal air exchange rate of about 120-60 h(-1). Maximum in-cabin protection (approximately 85%) was obtained when both fan and recirculation were on. In-cabin and outdoor particle size distributions in the 7.9-217 nm range were observed to be mostly bimodal, with the primary peak occurring at 10-30 nm and the secondary at 50-70 nm. The vehicle's manufacture-installed particle filter offered an in-cabin protection of about 50% for particles in the 7-40 nm size range and 20-30% for particles in the 40 to approximately 200 nm size range. For an hour daily commute exposure, the in-vehicle microenvironment contributes approximately 10-50% of people's daily exposure to UFP from traffic.

PubMed ID: 17438754 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollution/analysis; Air Pollution/statistics & numerical data*; Carbon Dioxide/analysis; Carbon Monoxide/analysis; Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data*; Humans; Los Angeles; Particle Size; Time Factors; Transportation*; Ventilation

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