Ambient air quality and indoor exposure: PM2.5 implications for health in Suva Fiji

C. F. Isley, P. F. Nelson, M. P. Taylor, A. Morrison, A. J. Atanacio, E. Stelcer, D. D. Cohen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Air quality data collected at urban background locations is often assumed to represent a wider urban area. Localised sources and conditions can however cause variation between different microenvironments in the same urban area. Differences in PM2.5 (particulate less than 2.5 μm) composition may also have greater implications for health outcomes than PM2.5 concentration considered alone. Samples of PM2.5 were collected for three outdoor and nine indoor microenvironments across Suva, Fiji in 2014/15. Elemental concentration data have been used to estimate source concentrations for PM2.5 for each site. The 12 sites are compared to concurrent ambient measurements at a fixed monitoring site in Suva City and to ambient photometer data. The objective is to determine how well ambient measurements represent air quality across the city, including indoor environments. Surveys were used to determine how much time is spent indoors and outdoors by Suva residents to ascertain potential exposure risks. Results show that PM2.5 concentration and composition varies significantly between the different microenvironments studied. Indoor air quality was affected by both ambient air and indoor sources. Fuel used for cooking, particularly wood and kerosene, influenced indoor PM2.5 and black carbon. Given that the survey showed that people spend more time indoors than outdoors, as experienced elsewhere in the world, ambient measures of PM2.5 concentration and calculated related health risk does not accurately reflect exposures arising from city indoor microenvironments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-43
    Number of pages9
    JournalAir Quality and Climate Change
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


    • indoor
    • ambient
    • microenvironment


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