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Towards Personal Exposures: How Technology Is Changing Air Pollution And Health Research

A. Larkin, P. Hystad
Published 2017 · Environmental Science, Medicine

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Purpose of ReviewWe present a review of emerging technologies and how these can transform personal air pollution exposure assessment and subsequent health research.Recent FindingsEstimating personal air pollution exposures is currently split broadly into methods for modeling exposures for large populations versus measuring exposures for small populations. Air pollution sensors, smartphones, and air pollution models capitalizing on big/new data sources offer tremendous opportunity for unifying these approaches and improving long-term personal exposure prediction at scales needed for population-based research. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to combine these technologies to not only estimate personal exposures for epidemiological research but also determine drivers of these exposures and new prevention opportunities. While available technologies can revolutionize air pollution exposure research, ethical, privacy, logistical, and data science challenges must be met before widespread implementations occur.SummaryAvailable technologies and related advances in data science can improve long-term personal air pollution exposure estimates at scales needed for population-based research. This will advance our ability to evaluate the impacts of air pollution on human health and develop effective prevention strategies.
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