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Integrating personal air quality exposure into the Air Quality Management regime – a pilot study - AQ1039

An existing evidence gap in our understanding of air quality is how ambient (outdoor) concentrations of air pollution (which are the focus of air quality monitoring networks), relate to exposure at the individual level (‘personal-level exposure’).

This small-scale pilot project assessed the feasibility of using new technology in the form of wearable monitors to provide data on personal-level exposure, looking at participants’ exposure in the home as well as outside, at work and whilst travelling.

Eight participants living in Air Quality Management Areas in London took part in the study to assess their personal exposure and how this relates to ambient measurements from reference monitoring sites.

Participants’ exposure was measured for up to four weeks using three concurrent methods: monitoring of their residential indoor and outdoor air quality and monitoring of personal air pollution exposure using personal air quality sensors. This data was then looked at in relation to measurements from the nearest applicable Urban Background and Roadside London Air Quality Network reference monitoring site. Each participant was also asked to keep a basic activity diary and complete a questionnaire about building characteristics, heating, cooking and travel behaviour.

The findings from the research map individual exposure and contrast the relative contribution of sources in indoor, outdoor and transport microenvironments.

The study also demonstrated the use of new technology for home and personal monitoring.
The aim of the research was to demonstrate a personal air quality assessment by contrasting ambient air pollution and diverse individual exposure levels of residents within an Air Quality Management Area. The study specifically looked to:
• Establish a cohort of residents within East London and monitor their personal air pollution exposure over a period of four weeks.
• Concurrently monitor paired indoor and outdoor gaseous and particulate pollutant concentrations in residences at high time resolution to calculate infiltration efficiencies and isolate sources of indoor pollutants.
• Map individual exposure and contrast relative contribution of sources in indoor, outdoor and transport microenvironments.
• Provide preliminary recommendations for reducing personal exposure to air pollution relating to ambient, indoor and transport microenvironments.
• Provide a basis for a more extensive programme of research linking personal and ambient air quality policies.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2019

Cost: £98,600
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Kings College London
Air Quality              
Fields of Study
Air Quality