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Climate 2017, 5(3), 66; doi:10.3390/cli5030066

An Exposure-Mortality Relationship for Residential Indoor PM2.5 Exposure from Outdoor Sources

Department of Social & Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 15–17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK
UCL Institute for Environmental Design & Engineering, University College London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK
School of Energy & Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Institute of Occupational Medicine, Research Avenue North, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AP, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jennifer Salmond, Clive Sabel and Yang Zhang
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1557 KB, uploaded 26 August 2017]   |  


A large proportion of particulate air pollution exposure in urban areas occurs due to the penetration of outdoor pollution into the residential indoor environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that quantifying health effects due to changes to indoor particulate concentrations derived from outdoor sources requires the adjustment of exposure-response coefficients based on epidemiological studies of outdoor air. Using the PM2.5-mortality coefficient from the American Cancer Society (ACS) cohort study as an example, we developed a theoretical model to quantify the relationship between the published coefficient and one based on personal exposure, and explored how this adjusted coefficient might be applied to changes in indoor PM2.5 from outdoor sources. Using a probabilistic approach, our estimated average mortality coefficient for personal PM2.5 exposure is 30–50% greater than the ACS coefficient. However, since the indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin accounts for only a proportion of the overall exposure, the average net adjustment required for indoor exposure is very modest. The results suggest that it is generally appropriate to apply unadjusted exposure-response functions derived from cohort studies to assess the health impact of changes in indoor particle concentrations from outdoor sources. However, it may be important to re-scale the coefficients for assessing exposures of population groups who spend a greater proportion of their time at home. View Full-Text
Keywords: indoor air quality; air pollution; particulate matter; PM2.5; ventilation; housing; health impact assessment indoor air quality; air pollution; particulate matter; PM2.5; ventilation; housing; health impact assessment

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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).

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Milner, J.; Armstrong, B.; Davies, M.; Ridley, I.; Chalabi, Z.; Shrubsole, C.; Vardoulakis, S.; Wilkinson, P. An Exposure-Mortality Relationship for Residential Indoor PM2.5 Exposure from Outdoor Sources. Climate 2017, 5, 66.

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