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The impact of choice of transport mode on personal pollution exposure

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The climate change debate has resulted in a greater focus on sustainable transport and initiatives that are being introduced to encourage more people to use public transport, cycling and walking as their mode of transport. However, in New Zealand (and many other lower traffic, lower population density countries) we know virtually nothing of the public health implications of doing this, and globally research produces conflicting results. This paper will present the findings of some New Zealand research that assessed the comparative risk associated with exposure to traffic pollution when travelling on different transport modes including car, bike, bus and train. Data for ultrafine particles, PM10 , PM2.5, PM1 and carbon monoxide were collected in Auckland and Christchruch, New Zealand. In addition time activity data was collected using a combination of GPS data, sounds and photos. Results show that the choice of mode has significant implications for personal pollution exposure. In addition individual events on journeys can result in significantly raised spikes in exposure.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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