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Exposure to Air Pollution inside Electric and Diesel-Powered Passenger Trains

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journal contribution
posted on 27.03.2019 by Maria Helena G. Andersen, Sandra Johannesson, Ana Sofia Fonseca, Per Axel Clausen, Anne Thoustrup Saber, Martin Roursgaard, Katrin Loeschner, Ismo K. Koponen, Steffen Loft, Ulla Vogel, Peter Møller
Diesel-powered trains are used worldwide for passenger transport. The present study aimed to assess air pollution concentrations in passenger cars from diesel and electric trains. Personal exposure monitoring (6–7 h per day) was carried out for 49 days on diesel and 22 days on electric trains. Diesel trains had higher concentrations of all the assessed air pollution components. Average increases (and fold differences) in passenger cars of diesel trains compared with electric trains were for ultrafine particles 212 000 particles/cm3 (35-fold), black carbon 8.3 μg/m3 (6-fold), NOx 316 μg/m3 (8-fold), NO2 38 μg/m3 (3-fold), PM2.5 34 μg/m3 (2-fold), and benzo­(a)­pyrene 0.14 ng/m3 (6-fold). From time-series data, the pull and push movement modes, the engine in use, and the distance to the locomotive influenced the concentrations inside the diesel trains. In conclusion, concentrations of all air pollutants were significantly elevated in passenger cars in diesel trains compared to electric trains.