Exposure assessment studies conducted in developing countries have been based on fixed-site monitoring to date. This is a major deficiency, leading to errors in estimating the actual exposures, which are a function of time spent and pollutant concentrations in different microenvironments. This study quantified school children's daily personal exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) using real-time monitoring, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NO<inf>2</inf> using passive sampling in rural Bhutan in order to determine the factors driving the exposures. An activity diary was used to track children's time activity patterns, and difference in mean exposure levels across sex and indoor/outdoor were investigated with ANOVA. 82 children, attending three primary schools participated in this study; S1 and S2 during the wet season and S3 during the dry season. Mean daily UFP exposure (cm<sup>-3</sup>) was 1.08Ã10<sup>4</sup> for children attending S1, 9.81Ã10<sup>3</sup> for S2, and 4.19Ã10<sup>4</sup> for S3. The mean daily NO<inf>2</inf> exposure (Î¼gm<sup>-3</sup>) was 4.27 for S1, 3.33 for S2 and 5.38 for S3 children. Likewise, children attending S3 also experienced higher daily exposure to a majority of the VOCs than those attending S1 and S2. Time-series of UFP personal exposures provided detailed information on identifying sources of these particles and quantifying their contributions to the total daily exposures for each microenvironment. The highest UFP exposure resulted from cooking/eating, contributing to 64% of the daily exposure, due to firewood combustion in houses using traditional mud cookstoves. The lowest UFP exposures were during the hours that children spent outdoors at school. The outcomes of this study highlight the significant contributions of lifestyle and socio-economic factors in personal exposures and have applications in environmental risk assessment and household air pollution mitigation in Bhutan.
|Titolo:||Children's personal exposure to air pollution in rural villages in Bhutan|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|