To investigate potential detrimental health effects of exposures to air pollution specifically related to active travel, we are conducting an experimental study of acute effects of exposures during transportation in Barcelona. We assess physiologic responses to active and passive travel in a highly contaminated and moderately contaminated site in the city. The cross-over design cycles 30 volunteers through 4 periods of exposure-activity combinations of low- or high-level exposures and of cycling- or at-rest activity. Air pollution (PM10, PM2.5, ultrafine particles, NOx, carbon monoxide, black carbon) and noise are measured continuously during the 2-hour exposure period, and volunteers are monitored before and after the exposure session in a clinical unit for acute health markers, including pulmonary effects (e.g. eNO, FEV1), cardiovascular effects (e.g. blood pressure, HRV), inflammation and oxidative stress (e.g. CRP, cytokynes), and possibly gene expression and genotoxicity (blood samples will be stored). The field work begun in February and will go on till Fall 2011.
Traffic site is placed at the entrance of a tunnel:
Control site is placed on a quiet square at Barceloneta quarter: