The Open Atmospheric Science Journal




ISSN: 1874-2823 ― Volume 12, 2018

Personal Exposure to Air Pollution for Various Modes of Transport in Auckland, New Zealand


The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2012, 6: 84-92

K. N. Dirks, P. Sharma , J. A. Salmond, S. B. Costello

University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Electronic publication date 20/4/2012
[DOI: 10.2174/1874282301206010084]

CrossRef Citations:
19


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Abstract:

This paper investigates the carbon monoxide (CO) doses received while commuting by different modes (car, bus, train, motorcycle, bicycle and running), taking into account the commute time as well as the level of physical activity required. While the participants were constrained to travel at specific peak traffic times and between designated start and end points, they were free to choose a route appropriate for their mode of transport.

The results of this study suggest that the lowest exposures (concentrations of pollutants) are experienced by train commuters, largely a reflection of the routes being removed from any significant road traffic. Motorcyclists experienced significantly higher average concentrations as a result of high-concentration and very-short-duration peaks not seen in the traces of car and bus commuters travelling on the same road. Travel by bus along a dedicated busway was also found to be effective in reducing commuter air pollution exposure compared to travel by car on a congested stretch of motorway. The average concentrations to which cyclists and runners were exposed were found to be not significantly different for those travelling by car or bus (except when on dedicated pedestrian/cycleways). However, when the increased physical activity that is required is taken into account (leading to higher volumes of air breathed) along with the increased commuting time (especially in the case of runners), the air pollution doses (as estimated by the product of the concentration, commute time and breathing factor) were found to be significantly higher than for the motorised modes.

The results suggest that separate pedestrian/cycleways go some way towards providing healthier options for cyclists and pedestrians.


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