Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.07.012
Title: Traffic-generated airborne particles in naturally ventilated multi-storey residential buildings of Singapore: Vertical distribution and potential health risks
Authors: Kalaiarasan, M.
Balasubramanian, R. 
Cheong, K.W.D. 
Tham, K.W. 
Keywords: Dose-response
Fine particulate matter
Health risks
Vertical distribution profile
Issue Date: 2009
Source: Kalaiarasan, M., Balasubramanian, R., Cheong, K.W.D., Tham, K.W. (2009). Traffic-generated airborne particles in naturally ventilated multi-storey residential buildings of Singapore: Vertical distribution and potential health risks. Building and Environment 44 (7) : 1493-1500. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.07.012
Abstract: The main objective of the study is to quantify the mass concentration exposure levels of fine traffic-generated particles (PM2.5) at various heights of typical multi-storey public housing buildings located in close proximity, i.e. within 30 m and along a busy major expressway in Singapore. The secondary objective is to compare the potential health risks of occupants in the buildings, associated with inhalation exposure of fine traffic-generated particulate matter, based on estimated dose rates and the lowest observed adverse effect levels (loael) at the various floors of these buildings. Two typical public housing buildings, both naturally ventilated residential apartment blocks, of point block configuration (22-storey) and slab block configuration (16-storey) were selected for the study. Particulate samples were collected for both mass and chemical analysis (OC/EC ratio) at three representative floors: the lower, the mid, and upper floors of the buildings. Key meteorological parameters such as wind speed, wind direction, ambient temperature, and relative humidity were also concurrently measured at the sampling locations. For the potential health risk analysis, the occupants have been divided into four age categories namely, infants, children (1 year), children (8-10 years) and adults. The analysis takes into account age-specific breathing rates, body weights for different age categories. Experimental results explicitly showed that PM2.5 mean particle mass concentration was highest at the midfloors of both buildings when compared to those measured at upper and lower floors during a typical day. Although the lower floors were closest to traffic emissions, the mean particle mass concentration was lower there than that at the midfloors, which could presumably be due to the interception of PM2.5 particles by tree leaves or the inflow of clean and drier air from higher altitude with lower aerosol burden mixing with the traffic-polluted air at the lower levels thus lowering the concentration at the lower floors similar to induced chimney effect or both. The upper floors had the least fine particulate matter mass concentration due to dilution following pronounced mixing of traffic-polluted air with ambient air. The only difference between both blocks is that at corresponding floors, the mass concentration levels for slab block is much higher than that of point block. This could be attributed to the configuration of the blocks. Observational data show the slab block tends to slow down the approaching wind thus allowing the accumulation of the fine traffic-generated particulate matter in front of the building. For point block, the HR values at the mid and lower floors suggest that occupants living in these floors experience 1.81 and 1.34 times more health risk, respectively, in contracting respiratory diseases when compared to those living at the upper floors for all age categories. Similarly, for the slab block, occupants living in the mid and lower floors had 1.62 and 1.28 times more risk, respectively, in contracting respiratory diseases when compared to those living at the upper floors for all age categories. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Building and Environment
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/46053
ISSN: 03601323
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.07.012
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