An Exposure-Mortality Relationship for Residential Indoor PM2.5 Exposure from Outdoor Sources

James Milner, Ben Armstrong, Mike Davies, Ian Ridley, Zaid Chalabi, Clive Shrubsole, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Paul Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A large proportion of particulate air pollution exposure in urban areas occurs due to the penetration of outdoor pollution into the residential indoor environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that quantifying health effects due to changes to indoor particulate concentrations derived from outdoor sources requires the adjustment of exposure-response coefficients based on epidemiological studies of outdoor air. Using the PM2.5-mortality coefficient from the American Cancer Society (ACS) cohort study as an example, we developed a theoretical model to quantify the relationship between the published coefficient and one based on personal exposure, and explored how this adjusted coefficient might be applied to changes in indoor PM2.5 from outdoor sources. Using a probabilistic approach, our estimated average mortality coefficient for personal PM2.5 exposure is 30–50% greater than the ACS coefficient. However, since the indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin accounts for only a proportion of the overall exposure, the average net adjustment required for indoor exposure is very modest. The results suggest that it is generally appropriate to apply unadjusted exposure-response functions derived from cohort studies to assess the health impact of changes in indoor particle concentrations from outdoor sources. However, it may be important to re-scale the coefficients for assessing exposures of population groups who spend a greater proportion of their time at home.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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