The Fort Collins commuter study: Variability in personal exposure to air pollutants by microenvironment

Kirsten Koehler, Nicholas Good, Ander Wilson, Anna Mölter, Brianna F. Moore, Taylor Carpenter, Jennifer L. Peel, John Volckens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the role of microenvironment on personal exposures to black carbon (BC), fine particulate mass (PM 2.5 ), carbon monoxide (CO), and particle number concentration (PNC) among adult residents of Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Forty-four participants carried a backpack containing personal monitoring instruments for eight nonconsecutive 24-hour periods. Exposures were apportioned into five microenvironments: Home, Work, Transit, Eateries, and Other. Personal exposures exhibited wide heterogeneity that was dominated by within-person variability (both day-to-day and between microenvironment variability). Linear mixed-effects models were used to compare mean personal exposures in each microenvironment, while accounting for possible within-person correlation. Mean personal exposures during Transit and at Eateries tended to be higher than exposures at Home, where participants spent the majority of their time. Compared to Home, mean exposures to BC in Transit were, on average, 129% [95% confidence interval: 101% 162%] higher and exposures to PNC were 180% [101% 289%] higher in Eateries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • air pollution
  • indoor air
  • microenvironment
  • personal exposure
  • traffic-related air pollution
  • ultrafine particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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