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Socioeconomic and Demographic Associations with Wintertime Air Pollution Exposures at Household, Community, and District Scales in Rural Beijing, China

  • Xiaoying Li
    Xiaoying Li
    Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, United States
    More by Xiaoying Li
  • Jill Baumgartner
    Jill Baumgartner
    Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
    Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
  • Christopher Barrington-Leigh
    Christopher Barrington-Leigh
    Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
    Bieler School of Environment, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2A7, Canada
  • Sam Harper
    Sam Harper
    Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
    More by Sam Harper
  • Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson
    Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0B9, Canada
  • Guofeng Shen
    Guofeng Shen
    Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    More by Guofeng Shen
  • Talia Sternbach
    Talia Sternbach
    Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
    Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G1, Canada
  • Shu Tao*
    Shu Tao
    Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    *Email: [email protected]
    More by Shu Tao
  • Xiang Zhang
    Xiang Zhang
    Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0B9, Canada
    More by Xiang Zhang
  • Yuanxun Zhang
    Yuanxun Zhang
    College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    CAS Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • , and 
  • Ellison Carter*
    Ellison Carter
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, United States
    *Email: [email protected]
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2022, 56, 12, 8308–8318
Publication Date (Web):June 8, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c07402
Copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    The Chinese government implemented a national household energy transition program that replaced residential coal heating stoves with electricity-powered heat pumps for space heating in northern China. As part of a baseline assessment of the program, this study investigated variability in personal air pollution exposures within villages and between villages and evaluated exposure patterns by sociodemographic factors. We randomly recruited 446 participants in 50 villages in four districts in rural Beijing and measured 24 h personal exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon (BC). The geometric mean personal exposure to PM2.5 and BC was 72 and 2.5 μg/m3, respectively. The variability in PM2.5 and BC exposures was greater within villages than between villages. Study participants who used traditional stoves as their dominant source of space heating were exposed to the highest levels of PM2.5 and BC. Wealthier households tended to burn more coal for space heating, whereas less wealthy households used more biomass. PM2.5 and BC exposures were almost uniformly distributed by socioeconomic status. Future work that combines these results with PM2.5 chemical composition analysis will shed light on whether air pollution source contributors (e.g., industrial, traffic, and household solid fuel burning) follow similar distributions.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c07402.

    • Characterization of recruited villages and districts; study design and participant recruitment; personal exposure sample collection and filter analyses; outdoor PM2.5 measurements; questionnaires; PCA of wealth index estimation; classification of heating systems; distributions of air pollution exposures by wealth index at the district level; characteristics of study villages; characterization of different stove types; summary of personal exposure to PM2.5 and BC at the district level; personal exposure to PM2.5 and BC by village; seasonal mean of outdoor PM2.5 by village and district; mixed-effects regression model; fuel use intensity by wealth index; fuel use intensity by wealth index in four districts; concentration index; distributions of participants in different smoking statuses by wealth index quintile; personal PM2.5 and BC exposures by gender; principal component coefficients; locations of recruited villages and districts; linear regression between PM2.5 measured by a reference instrument and real-time PM2.5 sensor; linear regression between outdoor gravimetric PM2.5 and time-averaged sensor-based PM2.5; design of questionnaire on household energy use patterns; histogram of log-transformed annual income; scatter plot and linear regression between outdoor PM2.5 and mean personal exposure to outdoor PM2.5 (P/O) ratios at the village level; participant personal BC exposures; scatter plot of personal PM2.5 and BC; Spearman correlation coefficients between personal PM2.5 and BC; cumulative distribution of personal PM2.5 and BC by heating energy source; concentration curves for personal exposure; cumulative distribution of personal PM2.5 and BC by occupation, education, and smoking status; concentration curves of PM2.5 and BC exposures by smoking status; monotonicity of wealth index components; and monotonicity of income, house area heated, electricity cost, and quantity of coal briquettes used by wealth index quintile (PDF)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 2 publications.

    1. Talia J. Sternbach, Sam Harper, Xiaoying Li, Xiang Zhang, Ellison Carter, Yuanxun Zhang, Guofeng Shen, Zhongjie Fan, Liancheng Zhao, Shu Tao, Jill Baumgartner. Effects of indoor and outdoor temperatures on blood pressure and central hemodynamics in a wintertime longitudinal study of Chinese adults. Journal of Hypertension 2022, 40 (10) , 1950-1959. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000003198
    2. Xiaoying Li, Jill Baumgartner, Sam Harper, Xiang Zhang, Talia Sternbach, Christopher Barrington‐Leigh, Collin Brehmer, Brian Robinson, Guofeng Shen, Yuanxun Zhang, Shu Tao, Ellison Carter. Field measurements of indoor and community air quality in rural Beijing before, during, and after the COVID ‐19 lockdown. Indoor Air 2022, 32 (8) https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.13095

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