Factors affecting the exposure to physicochemical and microbiological pollutants in vehicle cabins while commuting in Lisbon

Commuters are exposed to a variety of physicochemical and biological pollutants that could lead to adverse health effects. This study aims to evaluate the indoor air quality (IAQ) in cars, buses and trains in Lisbon, to estimate inhaled doses while commuting and to evaluate the impacts of cleaning and ventilation on the IAQ. Particulate matter with diameter lower than 1, 2.5 and 10 μm (PM₁, PM₂.₅ and PM₁₀), black carbon (BC), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO₂) volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde (CH₂O) and total airborne bacteria and fungi were measured and bacterial isolates were identified. Results showed that the type of ventilation is the main factor affecting the IAQ in vehicle cabins. Under the fan off condition, the concentration of BC was lower, but the concentration of gases such as CO₂, CO and VOC tended to accumulate rapidly. When the ventilation was used, the coarse particles were filtered originating the decrease of indoor concentrations. Commuters travelling in trains received the lowest dose for all chemical pollutants, except VOC, mainly because railways are further away from the direct vehicular emissions. Commuters travelling in cars without ventilation received the highest inhaled dose for almost all pollutants despite having the lowest travel duration. Airborne microbiota was highly affected by the occupancy of the vehicles and therefore, the fungi and bacterial loads were higher in trains and buses. Most of the isolated species were human associated bacteria and some of the most abundant species have been linked to respiratory tract infections.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01761267
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 22 2020 3:07PM