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Associative Journal of Health Sciences

Characterizing Fine Particulate Air Pollution at Two Urban Elementary Schools: A Pilot Study of Arrival and Departure Environments

Submission: January 7, 2021;Published: January 27, 2021


The purpose of this pilot study was to characterize arrival and departure environments based on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution concentrations at two elementary schools. Ambient PM2.5 was measured at the school front door, arrival/departure areas, street adjacent to the school, and in accompanying play fields (background). The overall average ratio of PM2.5 to background at School-A (1.64) was less than at School-B (1.69) (t(35721)=2.52, p=0.01). PM2.5 to background ratios were higher in the morning (1.80) than afternoon (1.43) (t(36434)=21.13, p<0.001). This study found a “plume” of PM2.5 centered in the arrival/departure location at both schools. For morning PM2.5 measures, arrival/departure locations were the highest at both schools, followed by front door, whereas, in the afternoon, street measures were the highest. Solutions include encouraging idle-free zones, carpooling and encouraging active travel along low-traffic routes.

Keywords: Particulate pollution; Fine particulate matter; School health; Children’s environmental health; Commuting exposure

Abbreviations: PM2.5 -Fine particulate matter

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