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Table 1 Characteristics of the study population (% (N)) and the hypothesis of their effects on air pollution exposure

From: Assessment of personal exposure to particulate air pollution: the first result of City Health Outlook (CHO) project

  Male Female Total  
50% (25) 50% (25) 100% (50)  
SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC
Age Younger adults inhale more pollution than older people, as their activity intensity and metabolic rate is higher. And young people generally care less about self-protection.
  ≤ 30 48% (12) 76% (19) 62% (31)
  > 30 52% (13) 24% (6) 38% (19)
Education Individuals who received a higher education have higher perceptions of air pollution and are more likely to take proper actions to limit personal exposure to ambient air pollution.
 Bachelor’s degree or below 60% (15) 40% (10) 50% (25)
 Post-graduate degree 40% (10) 60% (15) 50% (25)
Marital status Single individuals tend to engage more in outdoor activities and spend more time on leisure activities than do married individuals, which put them at a higher risk of air pollution exposure.
 Single 48% (12) 84% (21) 66% (33)
 Married 52% (13) 16% (4) 34% (17)
Annual income, RMB Low-income individuals are more susceptible to pollution threats because of the lack of self-protective equipment, longer-distance travel, and worse working and living environment.
 Low-middle: <  150,000 32% (8) 36% (9) 34% (17)
 Middle-high class: >  150,000 68% (17) 64% (16) 66% (33)
TRAVEL BEHAVIOR
Commute time to work, hours Longer duration commuters increase their exposure time to unfiltered air contaminants.
  ≤ 1 60% (15) 68% (17) 64% (32)
  > 1 40% (10) 32% (8) 36% (18)
Own vehicle, yes 40% (10) 20% (5) 30% (15) Individuals in vehicles are likely to be exposed to more pollution since a car in traffic takes in and trap pollution from the exhaust of vehicles in front of it. Pedestrians and cyclists have diluted pollutants due to better airflow.
LIVING CONDITION
Days suffered from passive smoking for more than 15 mins per week Individuals who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to inhale more pollutants.
 0 72% (18) 56% (14) 64% (32)
  > 1 28% (7) 44% (11) 36% (18)
 Have ventilation system at home or office 56% (14) 40% (10) 48% (24) The air cleaning effect of ventilation system will lower the concentration of indoor air pollutants.
HEALTH STATUS
Body mass index, kg/m2 Overweight or obese adults breathe more air per day than an adult with a healthy weight, which makes them more vulnerable to air contaminants.
 Normal (< 25) 68% (17) 84% (21) 76% (38)
 Overweight / Obese(≥25) 32% (8) 16% (4) 24% (12)
Respiratory diseases 12% (3) 16% (4) 14% (7) Patients with respiratory diseases are more likely to be cautious about bad air quality days and tend to take more protections.