The relevance of commuter and work/school exposure in an epidemiological study on traffic-related air pollution

Ragettli, Martina S. and Phuleria, Harish C. and Tsai, Ming-Yi and Schindler, Christian and de Nazelle, Audrey and Ducret-Stich, Regina E. and Ineichen, Alex and Perez, Laura and Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte and Probst-Hensch, Nicole and Künzli, Nino. (2015) The relevance of commuter and work/school exposure in an epidemiological study on traffic-related air pollution. Journal of exposure science and environmental epidemiology, 25 (5). pp. 474-481.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/41959/

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Exposure during transport and at non-residential locations is ignored in most epidemiological studies of traffic-related air pollution. We investigated the impact of separately estimating NO2 long-term outdoor exposures at home, work/school, and while commuting on the association between this marker of exposure and potential health outcomes. We used spatially and temporally resolved commuter route data and model-based NO2 estimates of a population sample in Basel, Switzerland, to assign individual NO2-exposure estimates of increasing complexity, namely (1) home outdoor concentration; (2) time-weighted home and work/school concentrations; and (3) time-weighted concentration incorporating home, work/school and commute. On the basis of their covariance structure, we estimated the expectable relative differences in the regression slopes between a quantitative health outcome and our measures of individual NO2 exposure using a standard measurement error model. The traditional use of home outdoor NO2 alone indicated a 12% (95% CI: 11-14%) underestimation of related health effects as compared with integrating both home and work/school outdoor concentrations. Mean contribution of commuting to total weekly exposure was small (3.2%; range 0.1-13.5%). Thus, ignoring commute in the total population may not significantly underestimate health effects as compared with the model combining home and work/school. For individuals commuting between Basel-City and Basel-Country, ignoring commute may produce, however, a significant attenuation bias of 4% (95% CI: 4-5%). Our results illustrate the importance of including work/school locations in assessments of long-term exposures to traffic-related air pollutants such as NO2. Information on individuals' commuting behavior may further improve exposure estimates, especially for subjects having lengthy commutes along major transportation routes.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Chronic Disease Epidemiology > Exposome Science (Probst-Hensch)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Sozial- und Präventivmedizin > Exposome Science (Probst-Hensch)
UniBasel Contributors:Ragettli, Martina and Tsai, Ming and Schindler, Christian and Ducret-Stich, Regina and Ineichen, Alex and Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte and Probst Hensch, Nicole and Künzli, Nino
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Jun 2016 11:03
Deposited On:19 Apr 2016 09:45

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