Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10216/103557
Author(s): P. T. B. S. Branco
M. C. M. Alvim-Ferraz
F. G. Martins
S. I. V. Sousa
Title: The microenvironmental modelling approach to assess children's exposure to air pollution - A review
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Exposures to a wide spectrum of air pollutants were associated to several effects on children's health. Exposure assessment can be used to establish where and how air pollutants' exposures occur. However, a realistic estimation of children's exposures to air pollution is usually a great ethics challenge, especially for young children, because they cannot intentionally be exposed to contaminants and according to Helsinki declaration, they are not old enough to make a decision on their participation. Additionally, using adult surrogates introduces bias, since time-space-activity patterns are different from those of children. From all the different available approaches for exposure assessment, the microenvironmental (ME) modelling (indirect approach, where personal exposures are estimated or predicted from microenvironment measurements combined with time-activity data) seemed to be the best to assess children's exposure to air pollution as it takes into account the varying levels of pollution to which an individual is exposed during the course of the day, it is faster and less expensive. Thus, this review aimed to explore the use of the ME modelling approach methodology to assess children's exposure to air pollution. To meet this goal, a total of 152 articles, published since 2002, were identified and titles and abstracts were scanned for relevance. After exclusions, 26 articles were fully reviewed and main characteristics were detailed, namely: (i) study design and outcomes, including location, study population, calendar time, pollutants analysed and purpose; and (ii) data collection, including time-activity patterns (methods of collection, record time and key elements) and pollution measurements (microenvironments, methods of collection and duration and time resolution). The reviewed studies were from different parts of the world, confirming the worldwide application, and mostly cross-sectional. Longitudinal studies were also found enhancing the applicability of this approach. The application of this methodology on children is different from that on adults because of data collection, namely the methods used for collecting time-activity patterns must be different and the time-activity patterns are itself different, which leads to select different microenvironments to the data collection of pollutants' concentrations. The most used methods to gather information on time-activity patterns were questionnaires and diaries, and the main microenvironments considered were home and school (indoors and outdoors). Although the ME modelling approach in studies to assess children's exposure to air pollution is highly encouraged, a validation process is needed, due to the uncertainties associated with the application of this approach.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10216/103557
Related Information: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia/Projectos de I&DT em Todos os Domínios Científicos/PTDC/SAU-SAP/121827/2010/Poluição do Ar Interior em infantários e escolas primárias: Impacte na Asma Infantil/INAIRCHILD
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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