Concentration and oxidative potential of on-road particle emissions and their relationship with traffic composition : Relevance to exposure assessment

Crilley, Leigh R., Knibbs, Luke D., Miljevic, Branka, Cong, Xiaochun, Fairfull-Smith, Kathryn E., Bottle, Steven E., Ristovski, Zoran D., Ayoko, Godwin A., & Morawska, Lidia (2012) Concentration and oxidative potential of on-road particle emissions and their relationship with traffic composition : Relevance to exposure assessment. Atmospheric Environment, 59, pp. 533-539.

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Particles emitted by vehicles are known to cause detrimental health effects, with their size and oxidative potential among the main factors responsible. Therefore, understanding the relationship between traffic composition and both the physical characteristics and oxidative potential of particles is critical. To contribute to the limited knowledge base in this area, we investigated this relationship in a 4.5 km road tunnel in Brisbane, Australia.

On-road concentrations of ultrafine particles (<100 nm, UFPs), fine particles (PM2.5), CO, CO2 and particle associated reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured using vehicle-based mobile sampling. UFPs were measured using a condensation particle counter and PM2.5 with a DustTrak aerosol photometer. A new profluorescent nitroxide probe, BPEAnit, was used to determine ROS levels. Comparative measurements were also performed on an above-ground road to assess the role of emission dilution on the parameters measured.

The profile of UFP and PM2.5 concentration with distance through the tunnel was determined, and demonstrated relationships with both road gradient and tunnel ventilation. ROS levels in the tunnel were found to be high compared to an open road with similar traffic characteristics, which was attributed to the substantial difference in estimated emission dilution ratios on the two roadways. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the levels of pollutants and ROS were generally better correlated with total traffic count, rather than the traffic composition (i.e. diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles).

A possible reason for the lack of correlation with HDV, which has previously been shown to be strongly associated with UFPs especially, was the low absolute numbers encountered during the sampling. This may have made their contribution to in-tunnel pollution largely indistinguishable from the total vehicle volume. For ROS, the stronger association observed with HDV and gasoline vehicles when combined (total traffic count) compared to when considered individually may signal a role for the interaction of their emissions as a determinant of on-road ROS in this pilot study. If further validated, this should not be overlooked in studies of on- or near-road particle exposure and its potential health effects.

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12 citations in Scopus
8 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 52664
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Diesel, Exposure, Gasoline, Sampling, Toxicity
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.05.039
ISSN: 1352-2310
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Atmospheric Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Atmospheric Environment, Volume 59, (November 2012). DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.05.039
Deposited On: 23 Jul 2012 22:26
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2013 19:58

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