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Title: Use of novel sensors to assess human exposure to airborne pollutants and its effects on cognitive performance
Author: Shehab, Maryam
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 9701
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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Exposure to air pollution can cause adverse health effects, may also adversely affect the central nervous system and affect cognitive performance. Epidemiological studies depend on central site monitors as surrogates to assess personal exposure to air pollution, which can be inaccurate because they do not assess personal exposure in a variety of activities and microenvironments. This thesis aims to assess the level of misclassification in data from central site monitors by using portable modern sensors with high temporal resolution to characterize personal inhaled doses of BC, PM2.5, and UFP, and compare the measurements with surrogate exposure metrics. It also seeks to identify contributing activities and sources associated with the highest concentrations of the three pollutants, and to determine the contribution of these activities and microenvironments to personal exposure, and to study the impact of short-term exposure to air pollution on cognitive function. The first finding is that central site monitors are not a good surrogate for personal exposure. Secondly, travelling in vehicles is linked to the highest concentrations of the three pollutants, while other outdoors activities and outdoors commuting are linked to the highest concentrations of BC and PM2.5, cooking is linked to the highest concentrations of UFP, and activities and time spent indoors are the highest contributors to personal exposure. Thirdly, the results provide strong evidence that short-term exposure to PM2.5 from candle burning and commuting has an adverse effect on cognitive performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA Public aspects of medicine ; TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering