Next Article in Journal
Benzene Exposure Alters Expression of Enzymes Involved in Fatty Acid β-Oxidation in Male C3H/He Mice
Previous Article in Journal
Preventive Effects of Safety Helmets on Traumatic Brain Injury after Work-Related Falls
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1064; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111064

Air Pollution Exposure in Relation to the Commute to School: A Bradford UK Case Study

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 9 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2465 KB, uploaded 29 October 2016]   |  


Walking School Buses (WSBs) provide a safe alternative to being driven to school. Children benefit from the contribution the exercise provides towards their daily exercise target, it gives children practical experience with respect to road safety and it helps to relieve traffic congestion around the entrance to their school. Walking routes are designed largely based in road safety considerations, catchment need and the availability of parent support. However, little attention is given to the air pollution exposure experienced by children during their journey to school, despite the commuting microenvironment being an important contributor to a child’s daily air pollution exposure. This study aims to quantify the air pollution exposure experienced by children walking to school and those being driven by car. A school was chosen in Bradford, UK. Three adult participants carried out the journey to and from school, each carrying a P-Trak ultrafine particle (UFP) count monitor. One participant travelled the journey to school by car while the other two walked, each on opposite sides of the road for the majority of the journey. Data collection was carried out over a period of two weeks, for a total of five journeys to school in the morning and five on the way home at the end of the school day. Results of the study suggest that car commuters experience lower levels of air pollution dose due to lower exposure and reduced commute times. The largest reductions in exposure for pedestrians can be achieved by avoiding close proximity to traffic queuing up at intersections, and, where possible, walking on the side of the road opposite the traffic, especially during the morning commuting period. Major intersections should also be avoided as they were associated with peak exposures. Steps to ensure that the phasing of lights is optimised to minimise pedestrian waiting time would also help reduce exposure. If possible, busy roads should be avoided altogether. By the careful design of WSB routes, taking into account air pollution, children will be able to experience the benefits that walking to school brings while minimizing their air pollution exposure during their commute to and from school. View Full-Text
Keywords: pedestrian; traffic; ultrafine particles; school; children; exposure pedestrian; traffic; ultrafine particles; school; children; exposure

Figure 1

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. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Dirks, K.N.; Wang, J.Y.T.; Khan, A.; Rushton, C. Air Pollution Exposure in Relation to the Commute to School: A Bradford UK Case Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1064.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top