An emission-weighted proximity model for air pollution exposure assessment

University of Texas at Brownsville, Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA
Science of The Total Environment (Impact Factor: 3.16). 08/2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.05.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BackgroundAmong the most common spatial models for estimating personal exposure are Traditional Proximity Models (TPMs). Though TPMs are straightforward to configure and interpret, they are prone to extensive errors in exposure estimates and do not provide prospective estimates.MethodTo resolve these inherent problems with TPMs, we introduce here a novel Emission Weighted Proximity Model (EWPM) to improve the TPM, which takes into consideration the emissions from all sources potentially influencing the receptors. EWPM performance was evaluated by comparing the normalized exposure risk values of sulfur dioxide (SO2) calculated by EWPM with those calculated by TPM and monitored observations over a one-year period in two large Texas counties. In order to investigate whether the limitations of TPM in potential exposure risk prediction without recorded incidence can be overcome, we also introduce a hybrid framework, a ‘Geo-statistical EWPM’. Geo-statistical EWPM is a synthesis of Ordinary Kriging Geo-statistical interpolation and EWPM. The prediction results are presented as two potential exposure risk prediction maps. The performance of these two exposure maps in predicting individual SO2 exposure risk was validated with 10 virtual cases in prospective exposure scenarios.ResultsRisk values for EWPM were clearly more agreeable with the observed concentrations than those from TPM. Over the entire study area, the mean SO2 exposure risk from EWPM was higher relative to TPM (1.00 vs. 0.91). The mean bias of the exposure risk values of 10 virtual cases between EWPM and ‘Geo-statistical EWPM’ are much smaller than those between TPM and ‘Geo-statistical TPM’ (5.12 vs. 24.63).ConclusionEWPM appears to more accurately portray individual exposure relative to TPM. The ‘Geo-statistical EWPM’ effectively augments the role of the standard proximity model and makes it possible to predict individual risk in future exposure scenarios resulting in adverse health effects from environmental pollution.

  • Source
    International Journal of Environmental Research 08/2011; 5(e):769-778. · 1.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Some studies have noted an association between maternal occupational exposures to chlorinated solvents and birth defects in offspring, but data are lacking on the potential impact of industrial air emissions of these solvents on birth defects. With data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry for births occurring in 1996-2008, we examined the relation between maternal residential proximity to industrial air releases of chlorinated solvents and birth defects in offspring of 60,613 case-mothers and 244,927 control-mothers. Maternal residential exposures to solvent emissions were estimated with metrics that took into account residential distances to industrial sources and annual amounts of chemicals released. Logistic regression was used to generate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the associations between residential proximity to emissions of 14 chlorinated solvents and selected birth defects, including neural tube, oral cleft, limb deficiency, and congenital heart defects. All risk estimates were adjusted for year of delivery and maternal age, education, race/ethnicity, and public health region of residence. Relative to exposure risk values of 0, neural tube defects were associated with maternal residential exposures (exposure risk values >0) to several types of chlorinated solvents, most notably carbon tetrachloride (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09, 1.86); chloroform (aOR 1.40, 95% CI 1.04, 1.87); ethyl chloride (aOR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08, 1.79); 1,1,2-trichloroethane (aOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.11, 2.18); and 1,2,3-trichloropropane (aOR 1.49, 95% CI 1.08, 2.06). Significant associations were also noted between a few chlorinated solvents and oral cleft, limb deficiency, and congenital heart defects. We observed stronger associations between some emissions and neural tube, oral cleft, and heart defects in offspring of mothers 35 years or older, such as spina bifida with carbon tetrachloride (aOR 2.49, 95% CI 1.09, 5.72), cleft palate with 1,2-dichloroethane (aOR 1.93, 95% 1.05, 3.54), cleft lip with or without cleft palate with ethyl chloride (aOR 1.81, 95% CI 1.06, 3.07), and obstructive heart defects with trichloroethylene (aOR 1.43, 95% CI 1.08, 1.88). These findings suggest that maternal residential proximity to industrial emissions of chlorinated solvents might be associated with selected birth defects in offspring, especially among older mothers.
    Environmental Health 11/2014; 13(1):96. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-13-96 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper assesses the urban environmental quality (UEQ) of Port-au-Prince in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. In addition to those physical environment factors commonly considered in the literature, the UEQ in Port-au-Prince is affected by several built-environment factors that are unique to the experience of local residents such as proximity to water body (including coastal) pollution, open market, cemetery and slum. The study area is also prone to many natural disasters such as flooding, landslide and coastal surge. The factors are integrated together by weights assigned by local experts. The result shows that an overwhelming majority (62%) of residents live in areas of very-low or low environmental quality with less than 40% of land, and thus indicates a grave situation of environmental injustice. The UEQ classification is largely consistent with a survey of more than 400 local residents.
    Habitat International 01/2014; 41:33–40. DOI:10.1016/j.habitatint.2013.06.009 · 1.58 Impact Factor