On foot or riding a bike are the best options when the air pollution is low, and vice versa, these are the riskiest exposures to PM particles when the air pollution concentrations are high, shows the research conducted by an expert team from the Goce Delchev University of Shtip, North Macedonia in collaboration with the Center for Climate Changes from North Macedonia. The subject of their research was people’s personal exposure to pollution to emissions from vehicles in Skopje in various situations as they move throughout the city.

The use of public transportation is not the recommended option when the air is clean, since in those conditions the air in the buses is more polluted. Still, this choice is far better when outside there are high concentrations of PM particles. Taking a ride in a car has almost the same effect on the exposure to PM particles regardless if the air outside is polluted or not, but it is possible if we are all day in the car to be at greater risk of exposure to other pollutants like nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and ultrafine particles with a diameter less than 0.1 µm.

“The real picture of the amount of exposure to air pollution for each person is not complete if we have only data for the concentrations in the ambient air, but not in the rooms where we are spending most of the day such as the homes, offices, classrooms, cars, public transportation, etc..” said Dejan Mirakovski, PhD, a Vice-Dean of the Goce Delchev University of Shtip and manager of the Ambikon department where the research and analyses were conducted.