Air quality while cycling in Edinburgh


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A presentation at a Scottish Local Air Quality Management Event, Tuesday 26th March 2013. Organised by SEPA.

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Air quality while cycling in Edinburgh

  1. 1. A cyclist’s perspective John Cherrie and Karen Galea With help from Melanie Gorman Ng and Araceli Sanchez Jimenez SEPA LAQM 26 March 2013INSTITUTE OF OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE . Edinburgh . UK
  2. 2. Pollutants are not uniformly distributed…• We see variation in space and time at fixed point monitoring stations• People move through space and so each person experiences different exposures LAQM 26/03/2013 2
  3. 3. Pollutants concentrations vary…SEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 3
  4. 4. Cyclists have higherexposures…• One might expect that cyclists are likely to have higher exposures than non-cyclists• But is that the case?SEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 4
  5. 5. Data from China…Wu D-L. Influences of Commuting Mode, Air Conditioning Mode and Meteorological Parameters on FineParticle (PM2.5) Exposure Levels in Traffic Microenvironments. Aerosol Air Qual Res Published OnlineFirst: 2013. doi:10.4209/aaqr.2012.08.0212SEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 5
  6. 6. In cab is now lesspolluted?SEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 6
  7. 7. Children may have higherexposure…• Child cyclists may have higher exposure than adults• Children are smaller and height above the emission sources, i.e. the tailpipe may be important• Buzzard et al showed that exposure of adults about half that of a child Buzzard NA, Clark NN, Guffey SE. Investigation into pedestrian exposure to near-vehicle exhaust emissions. Environmental Health 2009;8:13.SEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 7
  8. 8. Sensors…• We have had a range of direct reading monitors for some time• The difference now is that relatively sensitive low cost devices are becoming available with data-logging capabilities• Coupled with information about position, activity, environment etc. they can make a clearer picture of exposuresSEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 8
  9. 9. Demonstration from acycling journeySEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 9
  10. 10. www.MapMyWalk.comSEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 10
  11. 11. Concentration data Throughout the cycle journeySEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 11
  12. 12. Dashboard… Watch at… LAQM 26/03/2013 12
  13. 13. Some key observations• Concentration response lagged in relation to sources• Response also smoothed to some extent• The move from the quiet campus to the roads associated with a rise in concentration• Peaks when traffic heavy• Level seems to rise during the testSEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 13
  14. 14. Why did concentrationrise? 18 µg/m3 45 µg/m3SEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 14
  15. 15. Why did concentrationseemBackground to rise? concentration rose in Edinburgh city centre during our testSEPA LAQM 26/03/2013 15
  16. 16. Conclusions anddiscussion…• Low-cost sensors offer new possibilities to investigate exposure to air pollutants• Video can provide context but is difficult to interpret in a large-scale study• Multiple sensors offer great opportunities, but the challenge is in working with enormous datasets• Watch the video at: LAQM 26/03/2013 16