Pollutant exposure studies of emerging modes of transportation
Schaffer, Kaitlyn Greer
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The Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy, and Health (CARTEEH) has invested in exposure studies and other similar initiatives that focus on the impact of transportation emissions on human health. CARTEEH’s research program includes a collaborative program that funds joint projects conducted by consortium members and competitive programs. Two of the funded projects led by the Georgia Institute of Technology include a paratransit transport exposure study and an urban cyclist exposure study. The work presented in this thesis includes the experimental procedures and findings from the paratransit exposure study and urban cyclist exposure study, accompanied by a literature review. The literature review consists of four main topics: (1) adverse health effects from particulate matter (PM) exposure, (2) factors that affect air quality and contribute to varying particulate concentrations, (3) methodologies for measuring human exposure to PM for different modes of transportation, and (4) an overview of low-cost air quality sensors. The findings from these initial experiments confirm the impact of transportation networks and the design of associated infrastructure on users’ health. Users’ health is negatively impacted by prolonged or repetitive exposure to particulate matter. These studies are the initial step to characterize the particulate matter exposure of paratransit and cycling in urban environments. Understanding users’ exposure is the first step to identify strategies to reduce exposure to harmful pollutants.