Children’s personal exposure to air pollution in rural villages in Bhutan

Wangchuk, Tenzin, Mazaheri, Mandana, Clifford, Sam, Dudzinska, Marzenna R., He, Congrong, Buonanno, Giorgio, & Morawska, Lidia (2015) Children’s personal exposure to air pollution in rural villages in Bhutan. Environmental Research, 140, pp. 691-698.

[img] Accepted Version (PDF 3MB)
Administrators only until October 2017 | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


Exposure assessment studies conducted in developing countries have been based on fixed-site monitoring to date. This is a major deficiency, leading to errors in estimating the actual exposures, which are a function of time spent and pollutant concentrations in different microenvironments. This study quantified school children’s daily personal exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) using real-time monitoring, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NO2 using passive sampling in rural Bhutan in order to determine the factors driving the exposures. An activity diary was used to track children’s time activity patterns, and difference in mean exposure levels across sex and indoor/outdoor were investigated with ANOVA. 82 children, attending three primary schools participated in this study; S1 and S2 during the wet season and S3 during the dry season. Mean daily UFP exposure (cm-3) was 1.08 × 104 for children attending S1, 9.81 × 103 for S2, and 4.19 × 104 for S3. The mean daily NO2 exposure (µg m-3) was 4.27 for S1, 3.33 for S2 and 5.38 for S3 children. Likewise, children attending S3 also experienced higher daily exposure to a majority of the VOCs than those attending S1 and S2. Time-series of UFP personal exposures provided detailed information on identifying sources of these particles and quantifying their contributions to the total daily exposures for each microenvironment. The highest UFP exposure resulted from cooking/eating, contributing to 64% of the daily exposure, due to firewood combustion in houses using traditional mud cookstoves. The lowest UFP exposures were during the hours that children spent outdoors at school. The outcomes of this study highlight the significant contributions of lifestyle and socio-economic factors in personal exposures and have applications in environmental risk assessment and household air pollution mitigation in Bhutan.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
1 citations in Web of Science®

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.

ID Code: 91271
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: personal exposure, children, ultrafine particles, Bhutan
DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.06.006
ISSN: 0013-9351
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Aerosols (040101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified (090799)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elevier
Deposited On: 16 Dec 2015 03:33
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 23:41

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page