News & Events
Particulate matter from building construction: Additional burden to urban air quality
Speaker(s): Dr Saji GEORGE (NYP)
When: 12 November 2015 (TBA)
Where: TBA
Type: Seminars

Although building constructions are a recurring part of urbanization, the health risk of particulate matters (PM) originating from such activities have seldom been subjected to detailed studies. We sought to characterize the relative risk of size-resolved air borne PM collected from different heights (ground and top floor) of a building adjacent to a building under early phase of construction. We determined the physico-chemical properties such as size & shape, elemental composition and surface charge of the PM. The oxidative stress dependent cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory responses were assessed in BEAS-2B and RAW 264.7 cell lines using high-content-screening platforms. In comparison to top floor, the total mass of PM collected from ground floor was two-three folds higher and the mass fraction was dominated by PM20-35. Elemental analysis showed abundance of Si, Al, K, Ca and Fe in bigger PM while for PM0.25-0.5 it was mostly constituted by C and crystals rich in S and K. PM caused NFκB activation, secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cytotoxicity wherein PM0.25-0.5 was the most potent among the tested PM. Estimated exposure level and lung burden together with the data on hazard potential were used for developing a MATLAB based risk-assessment model which suggested that the potential for health risk is relatively higher at the ground floor. Our studies demonstrated differences in, relative abundance of PM, their physicochemical and biological properties collected from different heights adjacent to a construction site and showed that relative health risk is higher at the ground floor.