Exposure assessment of a cyclist to particles and chemical elements

C.A. Almeida Martins Cortês Ramos, J. P. R. Silva, T. Faria, H.T. Wolterbeek, Susana Marta Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Cycle paths can be used as a route for active transportation or simply to cycle for physical activity and leisure. However, exposure to air pollutants can be boosted while cycling, in urban environments, due to the proximity to vehicular emissions and elevated breathing rates. The objective of this work was to assess the exposure of a cyclist to particles and to chemical elements by combining real-time aerosol mass concentration reading equipment and biomonitoring techniques. PM10 and PM2.5 were measured on three cycle paths located in Lisbon, during weekdays and weekends and during rush hours and off-peak hours resulting in a total of 60 campaigns. Lichens were exposed along cycle paths for 3 months, and their element contents were measured by instrumental neutron activation analysis using the k0 methodology (k0-INAA). Using a bicycle commute route of lower traffic intensity and avoiding rush hours or other times with elevated vehicular congestion facilitate a reduction in exposure to pollutants. The implementation of cycle paths in cities is important to stimulate physical activity and active transportation; however, it is essential to consider ambient air and pollutant sources to create safer infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11879-11889
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Bicycle
  • Particles
  • Biomonitors
  • Chemical elements
  • INAA


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