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Development of TracMyAir Smartphone Application for Modeling Exposures to Ambient PM2.5 and Ozone.


ABSTRACT: Air pollution epidemiology studies of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) often use outdoor concentrations as exposure surrogates. Failure to account for the variability of the indoor infiltration of ambient PM2.5 and O3, and time indoors, can induce exposure errors. We developed an exposure model called TracMyAir, which is an iPhone application ("app") that determines seven tiers of individual-level exposure metrics in real-time for ambient PM2.5 and O3 using outdoor concentrations, weather, home building characteristics, time-locations, and time-activities. We linked a mechanistic air exchange rate (AER) model, a mass-balance PM2.5 and O3 building infiltration model, and an inhaled ventilation model to determine outdoor concentrations (Tier 1), residential AER (Tier 2), infiltration factors (Tier 3), indoor concentrations (Tier 4), personal exposure factors (Tier 5), personal exposures (Tier 6), and inhaled doses (Tier 7). Using the application in central North Carolina, we demonstrated its ability to automatically obtain real-time input data from the nearest air monitors and weather stations, and predict the exposure metrics. A sensitivity analysis showed that the modeled exposure metrics can vary substantially with changes in seasonal indoor-outdoor temperature differences, daily home operating conditions (i.e., opening windows and operating air cleaners), and time spent outdoors. The capability of TracMyAir could help reduce uncertainty of ambient PM2.5 and O3 exposure metrics used in epidemiology studies.

SUBMITTER: Breen M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6766031 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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