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Traffic-related fine and ultrafine particle exposures of professional drivers and illness : An opportunity to better link exposure science and epidemiology to address an occupational hazard?

Knibbs, Luke D. & Morawska, Lidia (2012) Traffic-related fine and ultrafine particle exposures of professional drivers and illness : An opportunity to better link exposure science and epidemiology to address an occupational hazard? Environment International, 49, pp. 110-114.

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Abstract

Exposures to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) can be particularly high in transport microenvironments (i.e. in and around vehicles) despite the short durations typically spent there. There is a mounting body of evidence that suggests that this is especially true for fine (b2.5 μm) and ultrafine (b100 nm, UF) particles. Professional drivers, who spend extended periods of time in transport microenvironments due to their job, may incur exposures markedly higher than already elevated non-occupational exposures. Numerous epidemiological studies have shown a raised incidence of adverse health outcomes among professional drivers, and exposure to TRAP has been suggested as one of the possible causal factors. Despite this, data describing the range and determinants of occupational exposures to fine and UF particles are largely conspicuous in their absence. Such information could strengthen attempts to define the aetiology of professional drivers' illnesses as it relates to traffic combustion-derived particles. In this article, we suggest that the drivers' occupational fine and UF particle exposures are an exemplar case where opportunities exist to better link exposure science and epidemiology in addressing questions of causality. The nature of the hazard is first introduced, followed by an overview of the health effects attributable to exposures typical of transport microenvironments. Basic determinants of exposure and reduction strategies are also described, and finally the state of knowledge is briefly summarised along with an outline of the main unanswered questions in the topic area.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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4 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 53927
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Air pollution, Occupational exposure, Particles, Drivers
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.08.013
ISSN: 1873-6750 (online) 0160-4120 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (059900) > Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified (059999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environment International. 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 Environment International, [Volume 49, (15 November 2012)] DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.08.013
Deposited On: 02 Oct 2012 13:15
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2013 11:47

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