Characterizing the impact of traffic and the built environment on near-road ultrafine particle and black carbon concentrations.

Environmental research (2014-05-20)
Scott Weichenthal, William Farrell, Mark Goldberg, Lawrence Joseph, Marianne Hatzopoulou
RESUMEN

Increasing evidence suggests that ultrafine particles (UFPs) may contribute to cardiorespiratory morbidity. We examined the relationship between near road UFPs and several traffic and built environment factors to identify predictors that may be used to estimate exposures in population-based studies. Black carbon (BC) was also examined. Data were collected on up to 6 occasions at 73 sites in Montreal, Canada over 6-week period during summer, 2012. After excluding highly correlated variables, road width, truck ratio (trucks/total traffic), building height, land zoning parameters, and meteorological factors were evaluated. Random-effect models were used to estimate percent changes in UFP and BC concentrations with interquartile changes in each candidate predictor adjusted for meteorological factors. Mean pollutant concentrations varied substantially across sites (UFP range: 1977-94, 798 particles/cm(3); BC range: 29-9460 ng/m(3)). After adjusting for meteorology, interquartile increases in road width (14%, 95% CI: 0, 30), building height (13%, 95% CI: 5, 22), and truck ratio (13%, 95% CI: 3, 23) were the most important predictors of mean UFP concentrations. Road width (28%, 95% CI: 9, 51) and industrial zoning (18%, 95% CI: 2, 37) were the strongest predictors of maximum UFP concentrations. Industrial zoning (35%, 95% CI: 9, 67) was the strongest predictor of BC. A number of traffic and built environmental factors were identified as important predictors of near road UFP and BC concentrations. Exposure models incorporating these factors may be useful in evaluating the health effects of traffic related air pollution.

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