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Exploratory use of mobile phone technology to assess the impact of traffic related air pollution on children on the journey to school.

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

1/01/0731/12/09

Air pollution is a serious problem. Recent medical research has shown clear and unequivocal associations between air pollution and health with children being considered particularly at risk.
Most exposure studies to date have adopted reasonably simplistic approaches to assess the impact of outdoor levels of air pollution on health. Such studies have tended to use postcodes in order to locate individuals in geographic space and have used annual mean concentrations of air pollutants in order to derive personal levels of exposure. In reality, however, most individuals are mobile within geographic space for certain time periods within a day and are typically exposed to a range of pollution levels depending on their proximity to pollution sources.
This project assesses the extent to which alternative measures of personal
exposure and engagement with the environment (which influences health and wellbeing) can be derived through the integration of route data (gathered using GPS) and pollution surfaces generated by a proprietary dispersion model. The project focuses specifically on the school journey and uses a customised mobile phone application, GeoBlog, to capture quantitative (positional) and qualitative (texts and photos) data.

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