The link between air pollution and health burden in urban areas has been well researched. This has led to a plethora of effective policy-induced monitoring and interventions in the global south. However, the implication of pollutant species like PM2.5 in low middle income countries (LMIC) still remains a concern. By adopting a positivist philosophy and deductive reasoning, this research addresses the question, to what extent can we deliver effective interventions to improve air quality at a building structure located at a busy road node in a LMIC? This study assessed the temporal variability of pollutants around the university environment to provide a novel comparative evaluation of occupational shift patterns and the use of facemasks as risk control interventions. The findings indicate that the concentration of PM2.5, which can be as high as 300% compared to the WHO reference, was exacerbated by episodic events. With a notable decay period of approximately one-week, adequate protection and/or avoidance of hotspots are required for at-risk individuals within a busy road node. The use of masks with 80% efficiency provides sufficient mitigation against exposure risks to elevated PM2.5 concentrations without occupational shift, and 50% efficiency with at least ‘2 h ON, 2 h OFF’ occupational shift scenario.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.This research was funded by The University of Manchester’s Research England Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) QR grant.
- episodic event
- elevated PM2.5 concentration
- low and middle income countries (LMIC)
- occupational exposure
- risk characterisation
- control intervention
- reference concentration