Personal exposure of traffic police officers to particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and benzene in the city of Milan, Italy

Andrea Cattaneo, Matteo Taronna, Dario Consonni, Silvana Angius, Paolo Costamagna, Domenico Maria Cavallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this work was to quantify the personal exposure of traffic police officers to particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. The contributions of some behavioral, occupational, and meteorological determinants of exposure also were evaluated. Personal exposure to airborne contaminants was measured on 130 selected volunteers in four seasonal sampling sessions.CO was measured with high sampling frequency. A time-activity diary was completed by traffic police officers during their work shift. Mean (median) personal exposure levels of carbon monoxide, respirable particles (PMresp), and benzene were 3.51 (3.22) mg/m3, 128 (115) μg/m3 and 11.5 (9.6) μg/m3, respectively. The highest ambient mean levels of PMresp, CO, and benzene were found during cold seasons. Measurements taken where traffic is directed, schools are guarded, and other outdoor tasks are performed showed the highest median CO concentrations. As expected, wind decreased exposure to CO and benzene. Exposure was not significantly affected by active tobacco smoke. A key finding was that airborne concentrations determined by fixed measurement stations reported in other studies greatly underestimated traffic officer's exposure to airborne contaminants. The proximity to an emission source determined by the occupational activity was the factor that most affected exposure. For this reason, fixed stations are poor predictors of roadside exposures to airborne pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-351
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Particulate matter
  • Personal exposure
  • Police officers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Personal exposure of traffic police officers to particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and benzene in the city of Milan, Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this