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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(5), 5049-5068; doi:10.3390/ijerph110505049
Article

Simulation of Population-Based Commuter Exposure to NO2 Using Different Air Pollution Models

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1 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Socinstrasse 57, P.O. Box, Basel 4002, Switzerland 2 University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, Basel 4003, Switzerland 3 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA 4 Centre for Environmental Policy, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK 5 Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 12 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
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Abstract

We simulated commuter routes and long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution during commute in a representative population sample in Basel (Switzerland), and evaluated three air pollution models with different spatial resolution for estimating commute exposures to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as a marker of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Our approach includes spatially and temporally resolved data on actual commuter routes, travel modes and three air pollution models. Annual mean NO2 commuter exposures were similar between models. However, we found more within-city and within-subject variability in annual mean (±SD) NO2 commuter exposure with a high resolution dispersion model (40 ± 7 µg m−3, range: 21–61) than with a dispersion model with a lower resolution (39 ± 5 µg m−3; range: 24–51), and a land use regression model (41 ± 5 µg m−3; range: 24–54). Highest median cumulative exposures were calculated along motorized transport and bicycle routes, and the lowest for walking. For estimating commuter exposure within a city and being interested also in small-scale variability between roads, a model with a high resolution is recommended. For larger scale epidemiological health assessment studies, models with a coarser spatial resolution are likely sufficient, especially when study areas include suburban and rural areas.
Keywords: air pollution; model comparison; traffic; travel mode; travel pattern air pollution; model comparison; traffic; travel mode; travel pattern
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ragettli, M.S.; Tsai, M.-Y.; Braun-Fahrländer, C.; de Nazelle, A.; Schindler, C.; Ineichen, A.; Ducret-Stich, R.E.; Perez, L.; Probst-Hensch, N.; Künzli, N.; Phuleria, H.C. Simulation of Population-Based Commuter Exposure to NO2 Using Different Air Pollution Models. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 5049-5068.

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