2011 - Research

Methodology for assessing exposure and impacts of air pollutants in school children: Data collection, analysis and health effects – A literature review

Studies have reported high exposure to air pollutants at school, but only a handful of studies have analysed children’s exposure at school.

  • Quantifying the contribution of school exposure with observed health symptoms presents further challenges.
  • This study finds that children’s classroom exposure to air pollutants is affected by the penetration of outdoor pollutants, wall absorption, emissions from furniture and other materials, level and length of occupancy, and quality of ventilation. This is further exacerbated by the fact that children move around during their school day.
  • Findings also indicate that the air pollutant dose intake is affected by daily patterns of physical and traffic activity during and outside school hours which make it difficult to compare the contribution of school-based and non-school-based exposures to the health effect under investigation.
  • There is strong evidence that low socioeconomic level is highly correlated with the proximity of the school to pollution sources, yet this area of socioeconomic research has been largely unexplored in the assessment of traffic emission exposure.

Mejía, Jaime F., Choy, Samantha Low, Mengersen, Kerrie, Morawska, Lidia. “Methodology for assessing exposure and impacts of air pollutants in school children: Data collection, analysis and health effects – A literature review.” Atmospheric Environment. 45.4 (2011): 813-823.