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Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 338;

In-Cabin Vehicle Carbon Monoxide Concentrations under Different Ventilation Settings

School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Research and Investigations, Auckland Council, 135 Albert Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
School of Environment, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
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This paper explores the impact of choice of ventilation setting (“window open”, “new (external) air” and “recirculate”) on in-vehicle carbon monoxide exposures for commuters travelling by car at different times of the day (morning, midday, and evening) and different seasons (warm and cool) in Auckland, New Zealand. Three near-identical vehicles travelled in close proximity to each other on the same three “loops” out and into the city three times a day, each with a different ventilation setting. Concentrations of carbon monoxide were recorded using portable monitors placed inside each of the vehicles. The season was not found to be a significant factor. However, mean concentrations varied across ventilation settings by the time of day, typically peaking during the morning commute. The mean concentrations were significantly different between ventilation settings, with the recirculate setting found to result in a higher in-vehicle concentration than either new air or windows open but also heavily dependent on the initial in-vehicle concentration. However, this setting was the most effective at avoiding concentration spikes, especially when idling at intersections; an isolated peak event reaching 170 ppm was observed with the “new air” setting when following immediately behind an old, poorly-tuned, and visibly-emitting vehicle. This study suggests that having the windows open is the best setting for maintaining low in-cabin air pollution levels but that recirculate should be used in anticipation of congested conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ventilation setting; vehicle; carbon monoxide; exposure ventilation setting; vehicle; carbon monoxide; exposure

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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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Dirks, K.N.; Talbot, N.; Salmond, J.A.; Costello, S.B. In-Cabin Vehicle Carbon Monoxide Concentrations under Different Ventilation Settings. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 338.

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