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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Small area variations in air quality and health II: analysis at the individual level


The overall objective is to evaluate the use of low-cost passive sampler methods (for NO2) at the small-area level as a means of predicting individual exposure to ambient air pollution. Comparisons at the individual level will be made of exposure to a range of pollutants including NO2, PM10, benzene, PAH. As was also the case in SAVIAH-I, this methodological goal will be achieved specifically within the context of a study of the relation of ambient air pollution to the occurrence of childhood wheeze and asthma.

Integrated exposure measurements for NO2 will be made using Palmes tubes at circa 20 sites in each field centre (Huddersfield, Amsterdam), with at least one measurement collected in each 4 week period over 8 months (i.e. 8 measurement periods x 20 sites). NO2 will also be assessed using tubes both as personal monitors (worn by individual school children), and as environmental monitors (i.e. in the home, outside the home and at the school).

Measurements of PM10 will be made inside and outside a subsample of 30-40 houses, and inside and (where possible) outside the relevant schools, using particulate samplers. Each house will be monitored once for 24 hours during each of two two-week periods (i.e. 2 x 24 hours), on a rolling basis. Measures of the average PM10 concentration for each sample period will be compared with the equivalent NO2 concentrations to assess correlations between the pollutants concerned.

Pilot studies will also be carried out for benzene and PAH at a subsample of at least 10 houses. Both benzene and PAH measurements will be made using standard pump samplers and gas chromatograph techniques; in the cast of benzene, comparisons will also be made with passive samplers. Measurements will be taken on two occasions of 24 hours, during two two-week periods inside and outside each house, and again the time-integrated concentrations will be compared with the equivalent NO2 concentrations.

Subjects taking part in these surveys will keep an activity diary, recording the time spent on major activities and locations. Arrangements for maintaining this diary will be made in collaboration with both school and parents in order to insure accurate reporting. Based on this information, together with measurements of air pollution, time-weighted estimates of exposure will be assessed for each of these individuals.

Estimates of personal exposure from the SAVIAH-I pollution "map" (based on four surveys and pollution modelling) will be compared to measured exposure using GIS techniques. Based on the results, estimates of exposure will then be made for the children included in SAVIAH-I, in order to analyse relationships with health outcome based on questionnaire survey of 7,000 children aged 7-11 from SAVIAH-I.

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Keppel Street
United Kingdom

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