Small low-cost sensing (LCS) devices enable assessment of close-to-reality PM2.5 exposures, though their data quality remains a challenge. This work evaluates the precision, accuracy, wearability and stability of a wearable particle LCS device, Location-Aware Sensing System (LASS, with Plantower PMS3003), which is 104 × 66 × 46 mm3 in size and less than 162 g in weight. Realtime particulate matter (PM) exposures in six major Asian transportation modes were assessed. Side-by-side laboratory evaluation of PM2.5 between a GRIMM aerosol spectrometer and sensors yielded a correlation of 0.98 and a mean absolute error of 0.85 μg/m3. LASS readings collected in the summer of 2016 in Taiwan were converted to GRIMM-comparable values. Mean PM2.5 concentrations obtained from GRIMM and converted LASS values of the six different transportation microenvironments were 16.9 ± 11.7 (n = 1774) and 17.0 ± 9.5 (n = 3399) μg/m3, respectively, showing a correlation of 0.93. The average one-hour PM2.5 exposure increments (concentration increase above ambient levels) from converted LASS values for Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), bus, car, scooter, bike and walk were 15.6, 6.7, −19.2, 8.1, 6.1 and 7.1 μg/m3, respectively, very close to those obtained from GRIMM. This work is one of the earliest studies applying wearable particulate matter (PM) LCS devices in exposure assessment in different transportation modes.
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