The land-use regression (LUR) approach to estimate the levels of ambient air pollutants is becoming popular due to its high validity in predicting small-area variations. However, only a few studies have been conducted in Asian countries, and much less research has been conducted on comparing the performances and applied estimates of different exposure assessments including LUR. The main objectives of the current study were to conduct nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure assessment with four methods including LUR in the Republic of Korea, to compare the model performances, and to estimate the empirical NO2 exposures of a cohort. The study population was defined as the year 2010 participants of a government-supported cohort established for bio-monitoring in Ulsan, Republic of Korea. The annual ambient NO2 exposures of the 969 study participants were estimated with LUR, nearest station, inverse distance weighting, and ordinary kriging. Modeling was based on the annual NO2 average, traffic-related data, land-use data, and altitude of the 13 regularly monitored stations. The final LUR model indicated that area of transportation, distance to residential area, and area of wetland were important predictors of NO2. The LUR model explained 85.8% of the variation observed in the 13 monitoring stations of the year 2009. The LUR model outperformed the others based on leave-one out cross-validation comparing the correlations and root-mean square error. All NO2 estimates ranged from 11.3-18.0 ppb, with that of LUR having the widest range. The NO2 exposure levels of the residents differed by demographics. However, the average was below the national annual guidelines of the Republic of Korea (30 ppb). The LUR models showed high performances in an industrial city in the Republic of Korea, despite the small sample size and limited data. Our findings suggest that the LUR method may be useful in similar settings in Asian countries where the target region is small and availability of data is low.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.
- exposure assessment
- inverse distance weighting
- land-use regression
- nitrogen dioxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Science(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health