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Issue 10, 2004
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Indoor and outdoor air concentrations of BTEX and NO2: correlation of repeated measurements

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Studies on health effects of air pollutants ideally define exposure through the collection of air samples in the participants' homes. Concentrations derived from these samples are then considered as an estimate for the average concentration of air pollutants in the homes. Conclusions drawn from such studies therefore depend very much on the validity of the measured air pollution concentrations. In this paper we analysed repeated BTEX and NO2 measurements with a time period of several months lying between the two conducted home visits. We investigated the variability of their concentrations over time by determining correlation coefficients and calculating within- and between-home variances. Our population consisted of 631 homes of participants from two cohort studies within the framework of the German study on Indoor Factors and Genetics in Asthma. Air pollutants were measured using passive samplers both indoors and outdoors. The measured BTEX concentrations were poorly correlated, with Pearson's correlation coefficient r ranging from −0.19 to 0.27. Additionally, a considerable seasonal effect could be observed. A higher correlation was found for the NO2 concentrations with r ranging between 0.24 and 0.55. For the BTEX, the between-home variance was bigger than the within-home variance, for NO2 both variances were of about the same order. Our results indicate that in a setting of moderate climate like in Germany, the variability of BTEX and NO2 concentrations over time is high and a single measurement is a poor surrogate for the long-term concentrations of these air pollutants.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Apr 2004, accepted on 02 Jul 2004 and first published on 18 Aug 2004

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B405537C
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2004,6, 807-812
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    Indoor and outdoor air concentrations of BTEX and NO2: correlation of repeated measurements

    R. Topp, J. Cyrys, I. Gebefügi, J. Schnelle-Kreis, K. Richter, H.-Erich Wichmann and J. Heinrich, J. Environ. Monit., 2004, 6, 807
    DOI: 10.1039/B405537C

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