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Open AccessArticle

Mobile Measurements of Particulate Matter in a Car Cabin: Local Variations, Contrasting Data from Mobile versus Stationary Measurements and the Effect of an Opened versus a Closed Window

1
Institute of Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2
Institute of Occupational Medicine, Charité–School of Medicine, Humboldt-University & Free University, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122642
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation-Related Air Pollution and Human Health)
Air pollution of particulate matter (PM) from traffic emissions has a significant impact on human health. Risk assessments for different traffic participants are often performed on the basis of data from local air quality monitoring stations. Numerous studies demonstrated the limitation of this approach. To assess the risk of PM exposure to a car driver more realistically, we measure the exposure to PM in a car cabin with a mobile aerosol spectrometer in Frankfurt am Main under different settings (local variations, opened versus a closed window) and compare it with data from stationary measurement. A video camera monitored the surroundings for potential PM source detection. In-cabin concentrations peaked at 508 µg m−3 for PM10, 133.9 µg m−3 for PM2.5, and 401.3 µg m−3 for coarse particles, and strongly depended on PM size and PM concentration in ambient air. The concentration of smaller particles showed low fluctuations, but the concentration of coarse particles showed high fluctuations with maximum values on busy roads. Several of these concentration peaks were assigned to the corresponding sources with characteristic particle size distribution profiles. The closure of the car window reduced the exposure to PM, and in particular to coarse particles. The mobile measured PM values differed significantly from stationary PM measures, although good correlations were computed for finer particles. Mobile rather than stationary measurements are essential to assess the risk of PM exposure for car passengers. View Full-Text
Keywords: particulate matter; mobile air quality study; in-cabin exposure; particle size distribution; traffic emissions; ventilation modes particulate matter; mobile air quality study; in-cabin exposure; particle size distribution; traffic emissions; ventilation modes
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Dröge, J.; Müller, R.; Scutaru, C.; Braun, M.; Groneberg, D.A. Mobile Measurements of Particulate Matter in a Car Cabin: Local Variations, Contrasting Data from Mobile versus Stationary Measurements and the Effect of an Opened versus a Closed Window. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2642.

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