Air quality in enclosed railway stations

John Thornes, Alice Hickman, Christopher Baker, Xiaoming Cai, Juana Maria Delgado Saborit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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In 2012 the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC) reclassified diesel-engine exhaust and related ambient air
pollution to be carcinogenic and associated with increased mortality from lung
cancer. This could have critical consequences for both public and occupational
health in enclosed railway stations where ventilation is often inadequate. Recent
policies encouraging a shift to public transport, along with increasing passenger
and train numbers, has led to a variety of co-benefits including increased health
and well-being from more walking and cycling. This paper considers the
unintended consequences of a reduction of air quality in crowded enclosed
railway stations and concludes with a number of possible interventions to ensure
that public health is not affected, especially by air pollution from stationary diesel trains. Pollution from electric trains can also lead to poor air quality due to the production of metal rich ultrafine particles from brake linings, friction between wheel and rail and from overhead pantographs. Current occupational health standards are not suitable for enclosed railway stations and need to be
reconsidered in the light of the IARC findings. More measurements of the levels of particulates and nitrogen dioxide in enclosed railway stations need to be
undertaken and published.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInstitution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Transport
Early online date25 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2016


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