The levels of fine (PM2.5), derived from combustion sources, in both outdoor and indoor environments within cities can be very high and are therefore of health concern. In recent years, the focus of several air pollution studies has shifted from PM2.5 to other urban pollutants such as Black Carbon (BC) and ultrafine particles (UFP) due to their association with negative health effects. BC is a light-absorbing component of PM, and a good indicator of exposure to harmful particulate-bound chemical substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) emitted from combustion sources such as urban vehicular traffic. UFP (those with aerodynamic diameter less than 0.1 μm) may be more toxic than PM2.5 due to their enhanced pulmonary deposition efficiency and much higher surface area.
We assessed the personal exposure to PM2.5, UFPs and BC in diverse outdoor and indoor microenvironments (MEs) in Singapore. Since individuals are always on the move, it is important to follow their activity patterns, which determine their actual exposure. Consequently, a GPS was used to track individual’s movement and exposure across MEs. Potential health risks associated with inhalation exposure to airborne particles were estimated. ... mehrThe findings obtained from the study can be useful for citizens to make informed choices to reduce their exposures to particulate pollution in both outdoor and indoor environments. In addition, the study outcomes provide a scientific basis for the government to implement effective mitigation measures to lower people’s exposure to airborne particles at the city scale, contributing to improved urban air quality and enhanced health benefits.