Association of roadway proximity with indoor air pollution in a Peri-urban community in Lima, Peru

Lindsay J. Underhill, Sonali Bose, D’Ann L. Williams, Karina M. Romero, Gary Malpartida, Patrick N. Breysse, Elizabeth M. Klasen, Juan M. Combe, William Checkley, Nadia N. Hansel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The influence of traffic-related air pollution on indoor residential exposure is not well characterized in homes with high natural ventilation in low-income countries. Additionally, domestic allergen exposure is unknown in such populations. We conducted a pilot study of 25 homes in peri-urban Lima, Peru to estimate the effects of roadway proximity and season on residential concentrations. Indoor and outdoor concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and black carbon (BC) were measured during two seasons, and allergens were measured in bedroom dust. Allergen levels were highest for dust mite and mouse allergens, with concentrations above clinically relevant thresholds in over a quarter and half of all homes, respectively. Mean indoor and outdoor pollutant concentrations were similar (PM2.5: 20.0 vs. 16.9 μg/m3, BC: 7.6 vs. 8.1 μg/m3, NO2: 7.3 vs. 7.5 ppb), and tended to be higher in the summer compared to the winter. Road proximity was significantly correlated with overall concentrations of outdoor PM2.5 (rs = −0.42, p = 0.01) and NO2 (rs = −0.36, p = 0.03), and outdoor BC concentrations in the winter (rs = −0.51, p = 0.03). Our results suggest that outdoor-sourced pollutants significantly influence indoor air quality in peri-urban Peruvian communities, and homes closer to roadways are particularly vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13466-13481
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • Air pollution
  • Allergens
  • Asthma
  • Black carbon
  • Childhood
  • Indoor environment
  • Low-income and vulnerable populations
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Particulate matter
  • Traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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