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Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Nov 17;49(22):13422-30. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03639. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Neighborhood-Scale Spatial Models of Diesel Exhaust Concentration Profile Using 1-Nitropyrene and Other Nitroarenes.

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University of Washington , Box 357234, Seattle, Washington 98195-7234, United States.
Seattle Children's Research Institute , P.O. Box 5371, Seattle, Washington 98145-5005, United States.
Colorado State University , 1681 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1681, United States.


With emerging evidence that diesel exhaust exposure poses distinct risks to human health, the need for fine-scale models of diesel exhaust pollutants is growing. We modeled the spatial distribution of several nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) to identify fine-scale gradients in diesel exhaust pollution in two Seattle, WA neighborhoods. Our modeling approach fused land-use regression, meteorological dispersion modeling, and pollutant monitoring from both fixed and mobile platforms. We applied these modeling techniques to concentrations of 1-nitropyrene (1-NP), a highly specific diesel exhaust marker, at the neighborhood scale. We developed models of two additional nitroarenes present in secondary organic aerosol: 2-nitropyrene and 2-nitrofluoranthene. Summer predictors of 1-NP, including distance to railroad, truck emissions, and mobile black carbon measurements, showed a greater specificity to diesel sources than predictors of other NPAHs. Winter sampling results did not yield stable models, likely due to regional mixing of pollutants in turbulent weather conditions. The model of summer 1-NP had an R(2) of 0.87 and cross-validated R(2) of 0.73. The synthesis of high-density sampling and hybrid modeling was successful in predicting diesel exhaust pollution at a very fine scale and identifying clear gradients in NPAH concentrations within urban neighborhoods.

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