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Human Exposure to Dynamic Air Pollutants: Ozone in Airplanes and Ultrafine Particles in Homes

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Doctoral thesis

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To effectively control health risks associated with an airborne contaminant we need to understand when, where, why, and how much humans come into contact with the contaminant. To answer these questions, the temporal and spatial variability in levels of species must be evaluated in relation to the locations of humans in space and time. Characterizing human exposure through the measurement of pollutant levels within occupied microenvironments where people spend time is particularly important for species that have sharp gradients owing to rapid environmental processing. This is especially true if the pollutant dynamics are influenced by the presence or activities of the occupants themselves. This dissertation investigates inhalation exposures to two dynamic air pollutants in two important settings ultrafine particles UFP in residences and ozone in aircraft cabins. New field data were acquired and observed pollutant trends were modeled to assess the importance for indoor concentrations and exposures of outdoor levels, ventilation characteristics, indoor sources, pollutant dynamics, human factors, and control strategies. Study findings can be applied to assess the risk associated with each exposure scenario and to suggest conditions under which interventions are likely to have the greatest public health impact. In the first part of the dissertation, residential exposures to ultrafine particles were characterized and governing factors explored on the basis of field data collected from single family houses in California. During the field study, time-resolved particle number PNconcentrations were monitored indoors and outdoors over a multi-day period, and information was acquired concerning occupancy, source-related activities, and building operation.

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  • Air Pollution and Control

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