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A Comparison of Perceived and Measured Commuter Air Pollution Exposures

Abstract

Commuting accounts for one of the highest daily air pollution exposure periods for workers in the U.S.; however, exposures vary greatly depending on transportation mode. In this study, we compared commuters’ (N = 433) perceived versus actual air pollution exposures across six modes of commuting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Commuter perceptions of exposure were compared with measured (actual) fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposures. Comparisons were made using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Participants ranked active modes of commuting (walking and bicycling) as being less exposing to air pollution than automobile and public transportation modes, while actual exposures indicated that walking and bicycling yielded the highest exposures (p< .001). Our findings suggest the general public lacks an understanding of the factors that influence daily air pollution exposures during commuting. Public health programs could reduce commuters’ lifetime exposures through education directed toward actions people can take to reduce daily inhaled doses of air pollution.


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Speaker / Author:
Robbie A. Chaney, PhD, Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University
Hunter D. Montgomery, College of Fine Arts and Communications, Brigham Young University
Jaron H. King, Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University
Nathan R. Hendrickson, Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University
Chantel D. Sloan, PhD, Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University
James D. Johnston, PhD, CIH, Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University
Month Year:
November 2019
Volume#:
82.4
Page #:
8-14
Publication Month:
November 2019
Subtopic:
Ambient Air