A review of traffic-related air pollution exposure assessment studies in the developing world

Environ Int. 2006 Jan;32(1):106-20. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2005.05.020. Epub 2005 Jul 6.


Exposure assessment studies in the developing world are important. Although recent years have seen an increasing number of traffic-related pollution exposure studies, exposure assessment data on this topic are still limited. Differences among measuring methods and a lack of strict quality control in carrying out exposure assessment make it difficult to generalize and compare findings between studies. In this article, exposure assessment studies carried out in the developing world on several traffic-related air pollutants are reviewed. These pollutants include particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In addition, it discusses advantages and disadvantages of various monitoring methods (ambient fixed-site monitoring, microenvironment monitoring, and personal exposure assessment using portable samplers) for these pollutants in exposure assessment studies. Also included in this paper is a brief introduction of standards for these pollutants in ambient air or in occupational settings established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The review ends with a summary of the limitations and gaps in recent studies and suggestions for future research in the developing world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Automobiles*
  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Vehicle Emissions / analysis*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Vehicle Emissions