Air pollution in moderately polluted urban areas: How does the definition of "neighborhood" impact exposure assessment?

Abstract : Environmental health studies commonly quantify subjects' pollution exposure in their neighborhood. How this neighborhood is defined can vary, however, leading to different approaches to quantification whose impacts on exposure levels remain unclear. We explore the relationship between neighborhood definition and exposure assessment. NO 2 , benzene, PM 10 and PM 2.5 exposure estimates were computed in the vicinity of 10,825 buildings using twelve exposure assessment techniques reflecting different definitions of " neighborhood ". At the city scale, its definition does not significantly influence exposure estimates. It does impact levels at the building scale, however: at least a quarter of the buildings' exposure estimates for a 400 m buffer differ from the estimated 50 m buffer value (±1.0 mg/m 3 for NO 2 , PM 10 and PM 2.5 ; and ±0.05 mg/m 3 for benzene). This variation is significantly related to the definition of neighborhood. It is vitally important for investigators to understand the impact of chosen assessment techniques on exposure estimates.
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Quentin Tenailleau, Frédéric Mauny, Daniel Joly, Stéphane François, Nadine Bernard. Air pollution in moderately polluted urban areas: How does the definition of "neighborhood" impact exposure assessment?. Environmental Pollution, Elsevier, 2015, 206, pp.437 - 448. ⟨10.1016/j.envpol.2015.07.021⟩. ⟨hal-01472575⟩

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