A study of human exposure in public transportation modes in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China

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A study of human exposure in public transportation modes in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China


Author: Lau, Wai-lun Alan
Title: A study of human exposure in public transportation modes in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Transportation -- China -- Hong Kong
Transportation -- China -- Guangzhou
Department: Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering
Pages: xi, 138 leaves : ill., maps ; 30 cm
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/b1701152
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/368
Abstract: Traffic-related air pollution in commuting microenvironment has become a major concern in human exposure study. The primary aim of this research project is to use field measurement data to examine the exposure level of carbon monoxide (CO), respirable suspended particulate (PM10 and PM2.5) and aromatic volatile organic compounds (BTEX) in public transports while commuting in urban area of Hong Kong and Guangzhou. In Hong Kong, a total of nine public transports (MTR, KCR, LRT, tram, taxi, ferry, public light bus, non-A/C bus and A/C bus) were selected for microenvironmental monitoring. The results showed that the exposure level of the target pollutants depended greatly on the choice of commuting mode. The inter-microenvironment variations were not the same for different pollutants measured. The exposure levels in railway transport or ferry were clearly lower than those in roadway transport. Substantial concentration differences between the upper and lower deck cabin were found in double-decked vehicles using natural ventilation by opening of windows. Commuter sitting on the upper deck was exposed to lesser PM10, CO and BTEX levels than on the lower deck. The results also showed a seasonal difference for PM10 and BTEX levels, but not for CO level. The in-vehicle PM10 and BTEX levels in winter were higher than those in summer. Compared with other metropolitan cities, the VOC and CO exposure levels of the Hong Kong public transport users are lower. However, the commuters are sometimes exposed to high level of particulate matter in some public transport trips. In Guangzhou, a total of four popular public transports (subway, taxi, non-A/C bus and A/C bus) were selected for measurement. Similarly, the in-vehicle levels of the measured pollutants were greatly influenced by the means of transport. In general, the average PM10, PM2.5, CO and BTEX concentrations in roadway transports were about several times higher than those in the subway. The influence of commuting time of day on in-vehicle pollutant level is minor. The result showed that the exposure levels in the evening peak-hour commutes were only slightly higher than those in afternoon non-peak hour commutes. Quite different from the study in Hong Kong, the results obtained in Guangzhou showed that the public transport users are frequently exposed to high levels of traffic-related pollutants during their daily commutes. Comparing the results between the two studied areas, the average exposure concentrations obtained in Guangzhou were significantly higher than those in Hong Kong for most of the target compounds. It is believed that the differences in concentration level are mainly due to the difference in the extent of vehicle emission control enforced, the difference in fuel quality control and the difference in road traffic condition.

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