Environmental Project, 1003, 2005

The indoor and outdoor concentrations of particulate air-pollution and PAHs in different size fractions and assessment of exposure and health impacts in the Copenhagen population


In the study different particle size fractions and PAH-content were measured during 15 weeks in ambient air in Copenhagen in relation to background urban air and street levels. During the same period measurements were also conducted in a fourth floor uninhabited apartment at a busy road in order to compare indoor and outdoor levels. The results show associations between outdoor and indoor levels, i.e. outdoor levels contribute to the indoor levels. The PAH-levels outdoors has impact on indoor levels but also contribution from internal sources was demonstrated. When the most recent dose-response relationship for fine particulate matter are taken into account in a human health impact assessment it was estimated that the urban air background levels could be associated with 780 excess cases of death each year per 1 million inhabitants in Copenhagen. The content of PAH on its own is only considered to make a small contribution to the overall excess lung cancer rate in relation to particulate air pollution. Thus the B(a)P content in the air was calculated to be associated with ten extra lunge cancer cases among 1 million inhabitants during a period of 70 years. The measurements in this study contribute to increased knowledge concerning the influence of outdoor particle levels on indoor levels and indoor exposure. The results are in accordance with measurements from other countries were similar associations have been found. The impact assessment on human health confirms previous Danish estimates regarding the magnitude of the effects. The knowledge concerning the association between outdoor and indoor PAH-levels for Danish urban environment is new.

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