Transit pollution exposure monitoring using low-cost wearable sensors

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, ridership - commuting, technology - emissions


Air Quality, Portable Sensors, Internet of Things, Wearable Sensors, Public Transports, Deposited Dosage


Transit activities are a significant contributor to a person’s daily exposure to pollutants. Currently obtaining accurate information about the personal exposure of a commuter is challenging as existing solutions either have a coarse monitoring resolution that omits subtle variations in pollutant concentrations or are laborious and costly to use. We contribute by systematically analysing the feasibility of using wearable low-cost pollution sensors for capturing the total exposure of commuters. Through extensive experiments carried out in the Helsinki metropolitan region, we demonstrate that low-cost sensors can capture the overall exposure with sufficient accuracy, while at the same time providing insights into variations within transport modalities. We also demonstrate that wearable sensors can capture subtle variations caused by differing routes, passenger density, location within a carriage, and other factors. For example, we demonstrate that location within the vehicle carriage can result in up to 25% increase in daily pollution exposure – a significant difference that existing solutions are unable to capture. Finally, we highlight the practical benefits of low-cost sensors as a pollution monitoring solution by introducing applications that are enabled by low-cost wearable sensors.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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