Assessment of exposure to traffic-related fumes during the journey to work

Simon Kingham, Julia Meaton, Andrew Sheard, Olivia Lawrenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


A pilot study was carried out to assess the levels of traffic related pollution individuals are exposed to while using different modes of transport on a typical journal to work route. This was carried out during the daily journey to work, and compared train, bus, car and bicycle (the latter both on the road and on an exclusive cycle path). The project monitored for benzene and inhalable particulates in September and October 1996. The car driver's exposure was on all occasions the highest for benzene and the first or second highest for particulates compared to the other modes. The cyclists on the cycle path had in most cases the lowest or second lowest exposure to both pollutants. The road modes of transport always had the highest exposures to benzene. The cyclists on the road were exposed to significantly greater levels of both benzene and particulates than the cyclists on the path. There are large daily variation in levels of pollution exposure. This correlated with wind speed - the lower the wind speed the higher the levels of pollution. Based on the results of this pilot study tentative policy recommendations can be made. Public awareness should be raised concerning the potential pollution exposures by transport mode. Public transport should be promoted on the basis of low personal pollution exposure. To reduce cyclists' pollution exposure, cycle paths should, wherever possible, be located away from main roads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-274
Number of pages4
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1998


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