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Ozone exposure assessment for children in Greece - Results from the RESPOZE study

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Georgios Grivas, Konstantina Dimakopoulou, Evangelia Samoli, Despina Papakosta, Anna Karakatsani, Klea Katsouyanni, Archontoula Chaloulakou

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date3 Jan 2017
StatePublished - 3 Jan 2017

King's Authors


Ozone exposure of 179 children in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece was assessed during 2013-2014, by repeated weekly personal measurements, using passive samplers. O3 was also monitored at school locations of participants to characterize community-level ambient exposure. Average personal concentrations in the two cities (5.0 and 2.8ppb in Athens and Thessaloniki, respectively) were considerably lower than ambient concentrations (with mean personal/ambient ratios of 0.13-0.15). The temporal variation of personal concentrations followed the -typical for low-latitude areas- pattern of cold-warm seasons. However, differences were detected between temporal distributions of personal and ambient concentrations, since personal exposures were affected by additional factors which present seasonal variability, such as outdoor activity and house ventilation. Significant spatial contrasts were observed between urban and suburban areas, for personal concentrations in Athens, with higher exposure for children residing in the N-NE part of the area. In Thessaloniki, spatial variations in personal concentrations were less pronounced, echoing the spatial pattern of ambient concentrations, a result of complex local meteorology and the smaller geographical expansion of the study area. Ambient concentration was identified as the most important factor influencing personal exposures (correlation coefficients between 0.36 and 0.67). Associations appeared to be stronger with ambient concentrations measured at school locations of children, than to those reported by the nearest site of the air quality monitoring network, indicating the importance of community-representative outdoor monitoring for characterization of personal-ambient relationships. Time spent outdoors by children was limited (>90% of the time they remained indoors), but -due to the lack of indoor sources- it was found to exert significant influence on personal concentrations, affecting inter-subject and spatiotemporal variability. Additional parameters that were identified as relevant for the determination of personal concentrations were indoor ventilation conditions (specifically indoor times with windows open) and the use of wood-burning in open fireplaces for heating as an ozone sink.

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