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Environ Pollut. 2017 Dec;231(Pt 1):663-670. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.08.077. Epub 2017 Aug 29.

Estimation of inhaled airborne particle number concentration by subway users in Seoul, Korea.

Author information

1
Railway System Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UST), Uiwang-si 16105, South Korea; Transportation Environmental Research Team, Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), Uiwang-si 16105, South Korea.
2
Transportation Environmental Research Team, Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), Uiwang-si 16105, South Korea.
3
Railway System Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UST), Uiwang-si 16105, South Korea; Transportation Environmental Research Team, Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), Uiwang-si 16105, South Korea. Electronic address: sbkwon@krri.re.kr.

Abstract

Exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) causes several diseases in the human body. The smaller particles, which have relatively large surface areas, are actually more harmful to the human body since they can penetrate deeper parts of the lungs or become secondary pollutants by bonding with other atmospheric pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides. The purpose of this study is to present the number of PM inhaled by subway users as a possible reference material for any analysis of the hazards to the human body arising from the inhalation of such PM. Two transfer stations in Seoul, Korea, which have the greatest number of users, were selected for this study. For 0.3-0.422 μm PM, particle number concentration (PNC) was highest outdoors but decreased as the tester moved deeper underground. On the other hand, the PNC between 1 and 10 μm increased as the tester moved deeper underground and showed a high number concentration inside the subway train as well. An analysis of the particles to which subway users are actually exposed to (inhaled particle number), using particle concentration at each measurement location, the average inhalation rate of an adult, and the average stay time at each location, all showed that particles sized 0.01-0.422 μm are mostly inhaled from the outdoor air whereas particles sized 1-10 μm are inhaled as the passengers move deeper underground. Based on these findings, we expect that the inhaled particle number of subway users can be used as reference data for an evaluation of the hazards to health caused by PM inhalation.

KEYWORDS:

Inhaled particle number; Particle number concentration (PNC); Particle size; Particulate matter (PM); Subway user

PMID:
28846987
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2017.08.077
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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