Indoor-Outdoor Air Pollution & Environmental Justice

Booker, Douglas and Young, Paul and Walker, Gordon (2018) Indoor-Outdoor Air Pollution & Environmental Justice. In: ETH Zurich Combustion Generated Nanoparticles, 2018-06-18 - 2018-06-21, ETH Zurich.

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Environmental Justice research has focused on demonstrating the extent to which air pollution is equally—or unequally— distributed across particular defined social groups. A socioeconomic group of particular importance are children, as they are especially susceptible to air pollution because of their high inhalation rates relative to body mass, high activity concentrations, narrower lung airways, and immature immune systems (Lipsett, 1989; Pope, 1989;; Wiley et. al., 1991). More than just exhibiting negative health consequences, exposure to air pollution has also been associated with poor academic performance among schoolaged children (Mohai et al., 2011).Research has focused on outdoor air pollution, however, the conclusions drawn have a methodological myopia: the research assumes that outdoor air pollution is an accurate indicator of personal exposure. Yet, on average, people spend more than 90% of their time indoors (Klepeis et al. 2001), where levels can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoors (Hulin, Simoni, Viegi, & AnnesiMaesano, 2012).  The combination of both the length of time spent inside, and the potential for higher concentrations means that personal exposure is greater indoors rather than outdoors (Vardoulakis, 2009). However, to understand indoor air quality (IAQ), one must rely on the principle that the indoor atmosphere is an extension of the outdoor atmosphere. To understand environmental justice, one must have a holistic understanding of air pollution, indoors and outdoors. The aim of the research is to develop new understandings of patterns of exposure to poor air quality for school children. This will involve simultaneously monitoring multiple pollutants inside and outside using the NAQTS V1000 in a range of different places and indoor environments (schools and school buses) and with a fine temporal resolution. This will permit a holistic and more complex understanding of patterns of exposure for school children to be developed, including in terms of its implications for vulnerability and distributive justice.

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Contribution to Conference (Poster)
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ETH Zurich Combustion Generated Nanoparticles : 22nd ETH-Conference on Combustion Generated Nanoparticles
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02 Jul 2018 09:48
Last Modified:
17 Jul 2024 23:15