Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking A Taxi Could Increase Your Exposure To Pollution

Date:
January 11, 2006
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that your level of exposure to pollution can vary according to what method of transport you use, with travelling by taxis resulting in the highest levels of exposure and walking the least.

Researchers have discovered that your level of exposure to pollution can vary according to what method of transport you use, with travelling by taxis resulting in the highest levels of exposure and walking the least.

Research published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, describes how the team from Imperial College London and the Health and Safety Laboratory, Buxton, measured and visualised exposure to pollution levels, while using a variety of different transport methods for travelling across London.

The researchers looked at five modes of transport, including walking, cycling, car, taxi and bus, and measured levels of exposure to ultrafine particles when travelling on them using a newly developed system that uses in combination an ultrafine particle counter and video recorder.

Ultrafine particles are less than 100 nanometres in diameter and mainly traffic related. Their small size and large surface area means it is possible to inhale large quantities which makes them particularly dangerous.

The visualisation system allows video images of individuals' activities to be played back alongside the ultrafine particle concentrations they are exposed to. As a result, most activities and behaviours that cause high exposures can be visibly identified, such as being trapped on traffic islands and waiting in congested traffic.

On average, while travelling in a taxi, passengers were exposed to over 100,000 ultrafine particles counts per cubic centimetre (pt/cm3), travelling in a bus resulted in exposure to just under 100,000 pt/cm3, travelling in car caused exposure to 40,000 pt/cm3, cycling was around 80,000 pt/cm3, and walking was just under 50,000 pt/cm3.

Surbjit Kaur, from Imperial College London, and first author of the paper, said: "It was a real surprise to find the extent to which walking resulted in the lowest exposure. The higher exposure from travelling in taxis may come from actually sitting in the vehicle while being stuck in traffic where you are directly in the path of the pollutant source. Also the fact that taxis are probably on the road for much longer than your average car could cause an accumulation of ultrafine particles."

Dr Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, from Imperial College London, added: "The particular strength of the system is the visual aspect. The new monitoring and visualisation system is an effective environmental risk communication tool that can be used to identify, visualise and avoid hotspots of pollution. "

###

The study was carried out as part of the DAPPLE (Dispersion of Air Pollution & Penetration into the Local Environment) project, which looks to provide a better understanding of the physical processes affecting street and neighbourhood scale flows of air, traffic and people, and their corresponding interactions with the dispersion of pollutants. The project consortium includes the University of Bristol, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Leeds, University of Reading and the University of Surrey.

DAPPLE is funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. Further information about the project and exposure visualisation samples can be seen at www.dapple.org.uk.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Taking A Taxi Could Increase Your Exposure To Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060111073530.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2006, January 11). Taking A Taxi Could Increase Your Exposure To Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060111073530.htm
Imperial College London. "Taking A Taxi Could Increase Your Exposure To Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060111073530.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins