Spatio-temporal analysis of particulate matter intake fractions for vehicular emissions: Hourly variation by micro-environments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Canada Academic Article uri icon

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  • Previous investigations have reported intake fraction (iF) for different environments, which include ambient concentrations (outdoor exposure) and microenvironments (indoor exposure). However, little is known about iF variations due to space-time factors, especially in microenvironments. In this paper, we performed a spatio-temporal analysis of particulate matter (PM2.5) intake fractions for vehicular emissions. Specifically, we investigated hourly variation (12:00am-11:00pm) by micro-environments (residences and workplaces) in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Canada. We used GIS modeling to estimate air pollution data (ambient concentration, and traffic emission) and population data in each microenvironment. Our estimates showed that the total iF at residences and workplaces accounts for 85% and 15%, respectively. Workplaces presented the highest 24h average iF (1.06ppm), which accounted for 25% higher than residences. Observing the iF by hour at residences, our estimates showed the highest average iF at 2:00am (iF=3.72ppm). These estimates indicate that approximately 4g of PM2.5 emitted from motor vehicles are inhaled for every million grams of PM2.5 emitted. For the workplaces, the highest exposure was observed at 10:00am, with average iF equal to 2.04ppm. The period of the day with the lower average iF for residences was at 8:00am (average iF=0.11ppm), while for the workplaces was at 4:00am (average iF=0.47ppm). Our approach provides a new perspective on human exposure to air pollution. Our results showed significant hourly variation in iF across the GTHA. Our findings can be incorporated in future investigations to advance environmental health effects research and human health risk assessment.


  • Arain, Muhammad Altaf
  • Requia, Weeberb J
  • Adams, Matthew D
  • Arain, Altaf
  • Koutrakis, Petros
  • Lee, Wan-Chen
  • Ferguson, Mark

publication date

  • December 2017