5 years ago

Comparisons of traffic-related ultrafine particle number concentrations measured in two urban areas by central, residential, and mobile monitoring

Comparisons of traffic-related ultrafine particle number concentrations measured in two urban areas by central, residential, and mobile monitoring
Traffic-related ultrafine particles (UFP; <100 nm diameter) are ubiquitous in urban air. While studies have shown that UFP are toxic, epidemiological evidence of health effects, which is needed to inform risk assessment at the population scale, is limited due to challenges of accurately estimating UFP exposures. Epidemiologic studies often use empirical models to estimate UFP exposures; however, the monitoring strategies upon which the models are based have varied between studies. Our study compares particle number concentrations (PNC; a proxy for UFP) measured by three different monitoring approaches (central-site, short-term residential-site, and mobile on-road monitoring) in two study areas in metropolitan Boston (MA, USA). Our objectives were to quantify ambient PNC differences between the three monitoring platforms, compare the temporal patterns and the spatial heterogeneity of PNC between the monitoring platforms, and identify factors that affect correlations across the platforms. We collected >12,000 h of measurements at the central sites, 1000 h of measurements at each of 20 residential sites in the two study areas, and >120 h of mobile measurements over the course of ∼1 year in each study area. Our results show differences between the monitoring strategies: mean 1 min PNC on-roads were higher (64,000 and 32,000 particles/cm3 in Boston and Chelsea, respectively) compared to central-site measurements (23,000 and 19,000 particles/cm3) and both were higher than at residences (14,000 and 15,000 particles/cm3). Temporal correlations and spatial heterogeneity also differed between the platforms. Temporal correlations were generally highest between central and residential sites, and lowest between central-site and on-road measurements. We observed the greatest spatial heterogeneity across monitoring platforms during the morning rush hours (06:00-09:00) and the lowest during the overnight hours (18:00-06:00). Longer averaging times (days and hours vs. minutes) increased temporal correlations (Pearson correlations were 0.69 and 0.60 vs. 0.39 in Boston; 0.71 and 0.61 vs. 0.45 in Chelsea) and reduced spatial heterogeneity (coefficients of divergence were 0.24 and 0.29 vs. 0.33 in Boston; 0.20 and 0.27 vs. 0.31 in Chelsea). Our results suggest that combining stationary and mobile monitoring may lead to improved characterization of UFP in urban areas.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1352231017305848

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