Mobile measurements of particulate matter in a car cabin: local variations, contrasting data from mobile versus stationary measurements and the effect of an opened versus a closed window

Janis Dröge, Ruth Müller, Cristian Scutaru, Markus Braun, David A Groneberg

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

Air pollution of particulate matter (PM) from traffic emissions has a significant impact on human health. Risk assessments for different traffic participants are often performed on the basis of data from local air quality monitoring stations. Numerous studies demonstrated the limitation of this approach. To assess the risk of PM exposure to a car driver more realistically, we measure the exposure to PM in a car cabin with a mobile aerosol spectrometer in Frankfurt am Main under different settings (local variations, opened versus a closed window) and compare it with data from stationary measurement. A video camera monitored the surroundings for potential PM source detection. In-cabin concentrations peaked at 508 µg m-3 for PM10, 133.9 µg m-3 for PM2.5, and 401.3 µg m-3 for coarse particles, and strongly depended on PM size and PM concentration in ambient air. The concentration of smaller particles showed low fluctuations, but the concentration of coarse particles showed high fluctuations with maximum values on busy roads. Several of these concentration peaks were assigned to the corresponding sources with characteristic particle size distribution profiles. The closure of the car window reduced the exposure to PM, and in particular to coarse particles. The mobile measured PM values differed significantly from stationary PM measures, although good correlations were computed for finer particles. Mobile rather than stationary measurements are essential to assess the risk of PM exposure for car passengers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2642
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume15
Issue number12
Number of pages20
ISSN1660-4601
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aerosols/analysis
  • Air Pollutants/analysis
  • Air Pollution/analysis
  • Automobiles/statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Monitoring/methods
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter/analysis
  • Vehicle Emissions/analysis

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