Using personal sensors to assess the exposome and acute health effects

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Aug 6;11(8):7805-19. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110807805.


Introduction: The exposome encompasses the totality of human environmental exposures. Recent developments in sensor technology have made it possible to better measure personal exposure to environmental pollutants and other factors. We aimed to discuss and demonstrate the recent developments in personal sensors to measure multiple exposures and possible acute health responses, and discuss the main challenges ahead.

Methods: We searched for a range of sensors to measure air pollution, noise, temperature, UV, physical activity, location, blood pressure, heart rate and lung function and to obtain information on green space and emotional status/mood and put it on a person.

Results and conclusions: We discussed the recent developments and main challenges for personal sensors to measure multiple exposures. We found and put together a personal sensor set that measures a comprehensive set of personal exposures continuously over 24 h to assess part of the current exposome and acute health responses. We obtained data for a whole range of exposures and some acute health responses, but many challenges remain to apply the methodology for extended time periods and larger populations including improving the ease of wear, e.g., through miniaturization and extending battery life, and the reduction of costs. However, the technology is moving fast and opportunities will come closer for further wide spread use to assess, at least part of the exposome.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Air Pollution / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Humans
  • Software


  • Air Pollutants