Development of a method for personal, spatiotemporal exposure assessment
This work describes the development and evaluation of a high resolution, space and time-referenced sampling method for personal exposure assessment to airborne particulate matter (PM). This method integrates continuous measures of personal PM levels with the corresponding location–activity (i.e. work/school, home, transit) of the subject. Monitoring equipment include a small, portable global positioning system (GPS) receiver, a miniature aerosol nephelometer, and an ambient temperature monitor to estimate the location, time, and magnitude of personal exposure to particulate matter air pollution. Precision and accuracy of each component, as well as the integrated method performance were tested in a combination of laboratory and field tests. Spatial data was apportioned into pre-determined location–activity categories (i.e. work/school, home, transit) with a simple, temporospatially-based algorithm. The apportioning algorithm was extremely effective with an overall accuracy of 99.6%. This method allows examination of an individual's estimated exposure through space and time, which may provide new insights into exposure–activity relationships not possible with traditional exposure assessment techniques (i.e., time-integrated, filter-based measurements). Furthermore, the method is applicable to any contaminant or stressor that can be measured on an individual with a direct-reading sensor.