Assessment of exposure approaches in air pollution and health research in Australia and New Zealand
It is increasingly acknowledged that the quality of, and/or lack of, exposure data are often a weakness in studies examining links between air quality and health. In this paper we review studies of air pollution and health in Australia and New Zealand and assess the quality of exposure data used. There have been over eighty peer reviewed published studies looking at air quality in Australia and New Zealand. Of these, over thirty have looked overtly at health endpoints, and more than twenty more have referred to health and/or exposure in some way. We conclude that the measures of exposure used in most of these studies are not great indicators of exposure. However, studies in this part of the world are no different to studies around the world where exposure estimates are also often weak. We suggest that as scientists we must acknowledge and accept this weakness while also agreeing that we can and must strive to develop better exposure estimates that account for intraurban variability in pollution levels, personal mobility, and the importance of microenvironments in personal pollution exposure.