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Assessment of children’s exposure to carbonaceous matter and to PM major and trace elements


Particulate matter (PM) pollution is one of the major environmental concerns due to its harmful effects on human health. As children are particularly vulnerable to particle exposure, this study integrates the concentration of PM chemical compounds measured in the micro-environments (MEs) where children spend most of their time to assess the daily exposure and inhaled dose. PM samples were analysed for organic and elemental carbon and for major and trace elements. Results showed that the MEs that contribute most to the children’s daily exposure (80%) and inhaled dose (65%) were homes and schools. Results indicated that the high contribution of particulate organic matter (POM) indoors indicate high contributions of indoor sources to the organic fraction of the particles. The highest concentrations of PM chemical compounds and the highest Indoor/Outdoor ratios were measured in schools, where the contribution of mineral elements stands out due to the resuspension of dust caused by the students and to the chalk used in blackboards. The contribution of the outdoor particles to inhaled dose (24%) was higher than to the exposure (12%), due to the highest inhalation rates associated with the activities performed outdoor. This study indicates the importance of indoor air quality for the children’s exposure and health.


  • 2.1 Particulate matter sampling
    2.2 Chemical characterization
    2.3 Mass closure
    2.4 Children’s daily exposure and dose assessment
    2.5 Statistical analysis

  • 3.1. Particulate matter mass concentration
    3.2. Mass closure
    3.2.1. Carbonaceous species
    3.2.2. Sulphate
    3.2.3. Mineral dust
    3.2.4. Sea salt
    3.2.5. Trace elements
    3.3. Exposure and inhaled dose assessment


Date: 2022

Author: : T. Faria, V. Martins, N. Canha, E. Diapouli, M. Manousakas, P. Fetfatzis, M.I. Gini, S.M. Almeida

Geographical area: Portugal, Lisbon

Type of publication : Article

Language : EN