Modeling Personal Exposure to Air Pollution with AB2C: Environmental Inequality

The AB²C model (Activity-Based modeling framework for Black Carbon exposure assessment) was developed to assess personal exposure to air pollution, more specifically black carbon. Currently the model calculates exposure in Flanders, an urbanized region in Western Europe. This model is characterized by the use of time-activity patterns, and air pollution concentrations with a high spatial and temporal resolution, including indoors and in the transport microenvironment. This model can be used for disaggregated exposure assessment or the evaluation of policy scenarios. In this paper, exposure of people from a lower socioeconomic class (SEC) is compared to the exposure of people from a higher SEC. In most North American studies, it is reported that poorer people are exposed to higher concentrations and suffer more from health effects associated with elevated exposure to air pollution. In Europe, fewer studies exist in this field, and results are not always conclusive. In this study, people from a lower SEC were found to be exposed to higher concentrations at home, but ‘richer’ people travel more, especially in traffic peak hours. This results in an average exposure that is higher for members of a lower SEC, but inhaled doses are similar in both groups. This analysis suggests that differences in health impact between the groups are almost completely explainable by increased susceptibility to air pollution health effects, and not by increased air pollutant intake.


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  • Accession Number: 01536539
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 2 2014 9:07AM