Personal exposure to fine particles in children correlates closely with ambient fine particles

Arch Environ Health. 1999 Mar-Apr;54(2):95-101. doi: 10.1080/00039899909602242.


To investigate the validity of ambient fine-particle concentrations as a measure of exposure in epidemiological time-series studies, we established the association between personal and ambient concentrations, within subjects, over time. We conducted repeated measurements of personal and ambient fine-particle concentrations in 13 children who lived in Wageningen, The Netherlands. For each child separately, we related personal exposures to ambient concentrations in a regression analysis. The median Pearson's correlation coefficient was 0.86. Personal fine-particle concentrations were also highly correlated with ambient particulate matter (i.e., < or = 10-microm) concentrations (median Pearson's correlation coefficient = .75). Personal fine-particle concentrations were typically approximately 11 microg/m3 higher than ambient concentrations. We excluded measurements of children who were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, and the difference was only 5 microg/m3. The findings of high correlations between personal fine-particle concentrations and both ambient fine-particle concentrations and particulate matter (i.e., < or = 10-microm) found in this group of children provide support for investigators to use ambient particulate matter concentrations to measure exposure to fine-particle concentrations in epidemiological time-series studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • Particle Size


  • Air Pollutants