On-road ultrafine particle concentration in the M5 East road tunnel, Sydney, Australia

Knibbs, Luke D., deDear, Richard, Mengersen, Kerrie, & Morawska, Lidia (2009) On-road ultrafine particle concentration in the M5 East road tunnel, Sydney, Australia. Atmospheric Environment, 43(22-23), pp. 3510-3519.

View at publisher


The human health effects following exposure to ultrafine (<100nm) particles (UFPs) produced by fuel combustion, while not completely understood, are generally regarded as detrimental. Road tunnels have emerged as locations where maximum exposure to these particles may occur for the vehicle occupants using them. This study aimed to quantify and investigate the determinants of UFP concentrations in the 4km twin-bore (eastbound and westbound) M5 East tunnel in Sydney, Australia. Sampling was undertaken using a condensation particle counter (CPC) mounted in a vehicle traversing both tunnel bores at various times of day from May through July, 2006. Supplementary measurements were conducted in February, 2008. Over three hundred transects of the tunnel were performed, and these were distributed evenly between the bores. Additional comparative measurements were conducted on a mixed route comprising major roads and shorter tunnels, all within Sydney. Individual trip average UFP concentrations in the M5 East tunnel bores ranged from 5.53 × 104 p cm-3 to 5.95 × 106 p cm-3. Data were sorted by hour of capture, and hourly median trip average (HMA) UFP concentrations ranged from 7.81 × 104 p cm-3 to 1.73 × 106 p cm-3. Hourly median UFP concentrations measured on the mixed route were between 3.71 × 104 p cm-3 and 1.55 × 105 p cm-3. Hourly heavy diesel vehicle (HDV) traffic volume was a very good determinant of UFP concentration in the eastbound tunnel bore (R2 = 0.87), but much less so in the westbound bore (R2 = 0.26). In both bores, the volume of passenger vehicles (i.e. unleaded gasoline-powered vehicles) was a significantly poorer determinant of particle concentration. When compared with similar studies reported previously, the measurements described here were among the highest recorded concentrations, which further highlights the contribution road tunnels may make to the overall UFP exposure of vehicle occupants.

Impact and interest:

18 citations in Scopus
17 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

263 since deposited on 24 Sep 2009
19 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 27536
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: On-road measurement , tunnel, ultrafine particles, diesel
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.04.029
ISSN: 1352-2310
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Aerosols (040101)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Past > Schools > School of Physical & Chemical Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Elsevier.
Deposited On: 24 Sep 2009 04:39
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:07

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page