Vehicular Air Pollutants and Noise in Atlanta Commuting Público

Chen, Justin Han (2012)

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Drivers in the United States are exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants and
noise during commutes. Numerous negative health outcomes, especially in
cardiovascular health, have been linked to both forms of exposure. Noise may be
acting as a confounder in assessing the relationship between traffic pollution and
acute adverse cardiovascular health outcomes. This study was performed in order to
quantitatively examine the associations between in-vehicle noise and several traffic
pollutants in multiple roadway microenvironments. Sampling was conducted in 3
different sampling scenarios: 1) within a stationary outdoor setting; 2) within an in-
vehicle stationary setting; and 3) within a moving in-vehicle setting. This was done in
order to differentiate the effect the personally driven vehicle had upon both noise
and air pollutant exposure. During the in-vehicle sampling scenarios, ventilation and
window status were accounted for. Air pollutants measured were particulate matter
2.5 mass (PM2.5), ultrafine particulate matter (UFPM), black carbon (BC), and
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Noise levels were measured concurrently
with air pollutants. Resulting correlation coefficients between measured air
pollutants and noise varied upon sampling scenario. The stationary outdoor
sampling scenario exhibited the lowest values compared to the two in-vehicle
sampling scenarios, with the stationary in-vehicle scenario showing the greatest
correlation values for PM2.5 and BC, and the moving in-vehicle scenario showing the
greatest values for UFPM and PAH. Strengths of association ranged from moderately
strong (RS > 0.60) to weak. Vehicle ventilation status had a mixed effect upon
pollutant-noise correlations, but the stationary in-vehicle setting generally showed a
more pronounced effect compared to the moving in-vehicle sampling scenario.
Vehicular speed as a modifier of the linear relationship between measured air
pollutants and noise exposure was also examined, and it was found that UFPM and
BC may infiltrate the vehicle cabin with greater efficiency at higher speeds. The
results of the regression analysis found similar results as the calculated correlation
values, and time lagged pollutant exposures generally had a weakening effect upon
associations. Noise acting as a confounder or effect modifier of vehicular air
pollution is possible depending upon numerous variables, including air pollutant type
and the exposure setting.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction pg. 1
2. Materials and Methods pg. 3
a. Data Analysis pg. 6
3. Results and Discussion pg. 6
a. Correlation between Noise and Pollutant Measurements by Sampling
Scenario pg. 8
b. Vehicle Ventilation Status and Pollutant-Noise correlations pg. 9
c. Correlations between the Air Pollutants and Noise by Vehicle Speed pg. 11
d. Associations between Noise and Air Pollution using Regression Analyses pg.
4. Conclusion and Recommendations pg. 17
5. References pg. 18
6. Tables and Figures pg. 20
a. Figure 1 pg. 20
b. Table 1 pg. 20
c. Table 2 pg. 21
d. Table 3 pg. 21
e. Table 4 pg. 21
f. Figure 2 pg. 22
g. Figure 3 pg. 23
h. Figure 4 pg. 23
i. Figure 5 pg. 24
j. Figure 6 pg. 25
k. Figure 7 pg. 26
l. Table 5 pg. 27

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