Exposure to respirable particles and TVOC in underground parking garages under different types of ventilation and their associated health effects

  • Hyeon-Ju Oh
  • Jong-Ryeul SohnEmail author
  • Jae-Seung Roh
  • Jongbok KimEmail author


Vehicle-induced pollutants in closed underground parking garages represent a major environmental issue influencing human health. In this study, the exposure to particulate matter (PM10, PM4, and PM2.5) and health risk assessments were analyzed using the lifetime average daily doses (LADDs) and cancer risks for selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ventilation types and traffic volumes were used as parameters to characterize variations of the PM and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs). In the investigated underground parking garage, the mass concentrations of PM10, PM4, and PM2.5 were 107.2–213.6, 78.4–138.3, and 56.2–102.4 μg m−3, respectively, and TVOC concentrations ranged from 523.0 to 1064.0 μg m−3 during the summer and winter seasons. Hourly PM2.5 concentrations during the daytime were higher than those measured at night, while no significant difference was observed between day and night for TVOC concentrations. The linear regressions for TVOC and traffic volume show that TVOC concentrations increased with increasing traffic. Among the I/O ratios for PM investigated during summer and winter, the only statistically significant difference was observed between natural and mechanical ventilation in parking garages. For all generated PMs, 72.2–80.1% of the aerosol deposition occurred in the head airways, while 4.8–5.1% of the total was deposited in the alveola and 2.5% in the tracheobronchial regions. The data presented herein suggest that, depending on ventilation types, the highest respirable particles generate in underground parking garage and deposit in all respiratory regions. The estimated cancer risks for car park users and occupational staff were determined, and possible and probable risks were measured.


Indoor air quality Underground parking garage Ventilation efficiency Coefficient of determination 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2018R1A6A1A03025761, NRF-2018R1A6A3A11048705).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringKumoh National Institute of TechnologyGumiSouth Korea
  3. 3.Present address: Department of Environmental Sciences, RutgersThe State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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