Gender Differences in Chronic Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution—A Simulation Study of Working Females and Males

The Professional Geographer, Volume 62, Issue 1 February 2010 , pages 66 – 83

Eleanor Setton; C. Peter Keller; Denise Cloutier-Fisher; Perry W. Hystad

“The objective of this study was to identify spatial variability in exposure to outdoor traffic-related air pollution with specific emphasis on comparing exposure estimates for working females and males across a metropolitan area. A spatial exposure simulation model was used to estimate annual average exposure to traffic-related nitrogen dioxide for males and females reporting regular work in census tracts other than that of their residence, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The model produced estimates of annual average exposure in six microenvironments (home indoor, work indoor, other indoor, outdoor, in-vehicle to work, and in-vehicle other) using time-activity patterns and work flow data, for males and females in each of 382 census tracts. This allowed for the identification of spatial variations in exposure estimates for each gender, due to mobility within the study region. Indoor sources of nitrogen dioxide were not included in the simulation. No significant differences in estimated total exposure were found between working females and males in general. Small but observable spatial differences, however, were found between working females and males at the 90th percentile of the exposure distributions associated specifically with the work indoor microenvironment. These were highest in suburban areas (+3 μ g/m3 for females, relative to total exposures in the range of 26 to 37 μ g/m3 annual average hourly nitrogen dioxide). These results identify specific geographic locations in the study area where personal monitoring studies might be warranted and suggest that the inclusion of workplace locations in multivariate modeling could be useful to further understand differences in estimated exposures.”