Opportunities for using spatial property assessment data in air pollution exposure assessments




Setton, Eleanor M
Hystad, Perry W
Keller, C. Peter

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BioMed Central


Background: Many epidemiological studies examining the relationships between adverse health outcomes and exposure to air pollutants use ambient air pollution measurements as a proxy for personal exposure levels. When pollution levels vary at neighbourhood levels, using ambient pollution data from sparsely located fixed monitors may inadequately capture the spatial variation in ambient pollution. A major constraint to moving toward exposure assessments and epidemiological studies of air pollution at a neighbourhood level is the lack of readily available data at appropriate spatial resolutions. Spatial property assessment data are widely available in North America and may provide an opportunity for developing neighbourhood level air pollution exposure assessments. Results: This paper provides a detailed description of spatial property assessment data available in the Pacific Northwest of Canada and the United States, and provides examples of potential applications of spatial property assessment data for improving air pollution exposure assessment at the neighbourhood scale, including: (1) creating variables for use in land use regression modelling of neighbourhood levels of ambient air pollution; (2) enhancing wood smoke exposure estimates by mapping fireplace locations; and (3) using data available on individual building characteristics to produce a regional air pollution infiltration model. Conclusion: Spatial property assessment data are an extremely detailed data source at a fine spatial resolution, and therefore a source of information that could improve the quality and spatial resolution of current air pollution exposure assessments.


BioMed Central



Setton EM, PW Hystad, and CP Keller. Opportunities for using spatial property assessment data in air pollution exposure assessments.International Journal of Health Geographics 2005, 4:26