Association between exposure to volatile organic compounds and streetscape tree canopy

Authors: Ray Yeager*, University of Louisville, Daniel W Riggs, Superfund Research Center, University of Louisville, Natasha DeJarnett, American Public Health Association, David J Tollerud, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Louisville, Pawel Lorkiewicz, Superfund Research Center, University of Louisville, Xie Zhengzhi, Superfund Research Center, University of Louisville, Rachel Keith, Superfund Research Center, University of Louisville, Sanjay Srivastava, Superfund Research Center, University of Louisville, Matthew Browning, Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Nagma Zafar, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville, Sathya Krishnasamy, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville, Andrew Defilippis, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Louisville, Shesh N Rai, Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, University of Louisville, Aruni Bhatnagar, Envirome Institute, University of Louisville
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Geography and Urban Health, Environmental Science
Keywords: GIS, VOC, Exposure, greenness, ndvi
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

To examine the associations between street canopy and exposure to harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Green vegetation has been shown to ameliorate exposure to airborne concentrations of particulate matter. However, it is unclear whether residential-area greenness, specifically street tree canopy, may reduce exposure to VOCs, a class of air pollutants with wide ranging impacts on human health.

We geocoded the residential locations of 213 nonsmoking study participants and quantified the peak, cumulative, contemporaneous, and spatial variation of residential greenery via satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), as well as tree canopy cover. As a novel metric of greenness evaluation, streetscape canopy cover was isolated from overall canopy via street and civic right-of-way data buffer areas. Generalized linear models were used to determine associations between participant residential greenness and urinary metabolites of 16 harmful anthropogenic VOCs in a cross-sectional analysis, while adjusting for relevant demographic, clinical, and environmental covariates.

Urinary metabolites of acrylamide, acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, and xylene were inversely associated with 10% elevated streetscape canopy cover within a 100 m radius of homes. Despite being a subset of overall canopy cover, streetscape canopy cover was significantly associated with more urinary metabolites than overall canopy cover.

Streetscape greenness was inversely associated with exposure to harmful anthropogenic VOCs and represents an important metric of greenness in assessment of pollutant exposure. Our results demonstrate that planting efforts targeting streetscapes may be more effective at reducing VOC exposure than untargeted planting efforts.

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