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Title: Size-fractionated particulate matter in indoor and outdoor environments during the 2015 haze in Singapore: Potential human health risk assessment
Authors: Sharma, R. 
Balasubramanian, R. 
Keywords: Bioavailable toxic elements
Potential human health risk
Size-fractionated particles
Smoke haze
Uncertainty analysis
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: AAGR Aerosol and Air Quality Research
Citation: Sharma, R., Balasubramanian, R. (2018). Size-fractionated particulate matter in indoor and outdoor environments during the 2015 haze in Singapore: Potential human health risk assessment. Aerosol and Air Quality Research 18 (4) : 904-917. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Landscape fires in Indonesia during the 2015 resulted in large-scale emissions of airborne particulate matter (PM) that degraded ambient air quality of several countries in Southeast Asia (SEA) including Singapore. During this transboundary haze episode, the general public was advised to remain indoors as much as possible in order to mitigate their exposure to high concentrations of PM in the outdoor environment. To understand the quantitative relationship between outdoor and indoor air quality, we measured PM2.5 as well as the size-fractionated PM (coarse, accumulation and quasi-ultrafine (q-UF) particles) simultaneously inside and outside a naturally ventilated apartment and studied the potential health risk associated with exposure to PM of different sizes under the three levels of smoke haze (light, moderate and severe). PM mass concentrations increased with a decrease in particle size, and the q-UF particles (diameter ? 250 nm) were observed to be as high as 80 to 85 µg m–3 both indoors and outdoors. Estimation of PM deposition patterns along the human respiratory tract revealed that q-UF particles were mainly deposited in the deeper alveolar region, thereby posing severe health threats. Potential human health risk assessment results based on bioavailable concentrations of toxic elements in PM raised further concerns about health impacts of q-UF particles deposited in the alveolar region. Moreover, uncertainty analysis of exposure parameters used in potential carcinogenic health risk assessment model indicated much higher exceedance of potential health risk than the threshold limit for 95th percentile values of the health risk (11.5 times higher for PM2.5) during severe-haze episodes. The potential health risk estimated in this study indicates the need to conduct further studies focused upon mitigation of human exposure to achieve health benefits during haze episodes. © Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research.
Source Title: Aerosol and Air Quality Research
ISSN: 16808584
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.11.0515
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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