In the present study, the daily dose in terms of particle surface area received by citizens living in different low- and middle-income countries, characterized by different lifestyles, habits, and climates, was evaluated. The level of exposure to submicron particles and the dose received by the populations of Accra (Ghana), Cairo (Egypt), Florianopolis (Brazil), and Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) were analyzed. A direct exposure assessment approach was adopted to measure the submicron particle concentration levels of volunteers at a personal scale during their daily activities. Non-smoking adult volunteers performing non-industrial jobs were considered. Exposure data were combined with time-activity pattern data (characteristic of each population) and the inhalation rates to estimate the daily dose in terms of particle surface area. The received dose of the populations under investigation varied from 450 mm (Florianopolis, Brazil) to 1300 mm (Cairo, Egypt). This work highlights the different contributions of the microenvironments to the daily dose with respect to high-income western populations. It was evident that the contribution of the Cooking & Eating microenvironment to the total exposure (which was previously proven to be one of the main exposure routes for western populations) was only 8%-14% for low- and middle-income populations. In contrast, significant contributions were estimated for Outdoor day and Transport microenvironments (up to 20% for Cairo, Egypt) and the Sleeping & Resting microenvironment (up to 28% for Accra, Ghana), highlighting the effects of different site-specific lifestyles (e.g. time-activity patterns), habits, socioeconomic conditions, climates, and outdoor air quality.
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