When, where and what? Measuring personal exposure to air pollution in India

When, where and what? Measuring personal exposure to air pollution in India

News from ISGlobal

Of the 12 most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter (PM2.5), 11 are in India. A new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has used a combination of techniques to better identify factors that influence personal exposure in a periurban region of India: the time of the day (when?), the location (where?), and the individual’s activities (what?).

the CHAI team characterised personal exposures of 50 participants in periurban Hyderabad, Telangana, in South India, during various 24-hour sessions. To do so, they integrated data from GPS devices, wearable cameras, questionnaires, and ambient and personal PM2.5 concentrations.

The results, published in Environmental Science & Technology, indicate that there are significant differences between men and women. The average personal exposure to PM was higher in men than in women (43.8 and 39.7 μg/m3, respectively), with both values way above the maximum levels considered as safe by the World Health Organization (10 µg/m3).

While women were more exposed in the morning, men were more exposed during the rest of the day. A large proportion of PM2.5 exposure occurred at home – 67% for men and 89% for women, which was proportional to the time spent in this location.

More information:
ISGlobal news

Carles Milà, When, Where, and What? Characterizing Personal PM2.5 Exposure in Periurban India by Integrating GPS, Wearable Camera, and Ambient and Personal Monitoring Data. Environmental Science & Technology, 31 de octubre de 2018