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Time-location analysis for exposure assessment studies of children using a novel global positioning system instrument.

Authors
Elgethun-K; Fenske-RA; Yost-MG; Palcisko-GJ
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2003 Jan; 111(1):115-122
NIOSHTIC No.
20032272
Abstract
Global positioning system (GPS) technology is used widely for business and leisure activities and offers promise for human time-location studies to evaluate potential exposure to environmental contaminants. In this article we describe the development of a novel GPS instrument suitable for tracking the movements of young children. Eleven children in the Seattle area (2-8 years old) wore custom-designed data-logging GPS units integrated into clothing. Location data were transferred into geographic information systems software for map overlay, visualization, and tabular analysis. Data were grouped into five location categories (in vehicle, inside house, inside school, inside business, and outside) to determine time spent and percentage reception in each location. Additional experiments focused on spatial resolution, reception efficiency in typical environments, and sources of signal interference. Significant signal interference occurred only inside concrete/steel-frame buildings and inside a power substation. The GPS instruments provided adequate spatial resolution (typically about 2-3 m outdoors and 4-5 m indoors) to locate subjects within distinct microenvironments and distinguish a variety of human activities. Reception experiments showed that location could be tracked outside, proximal to buildings, and inside some buildings. Specific location information could identify movement in a single room inside a home, on a playground, or along a fence line. The instrument, worn in a vest or in bib overalls, was accepted by children and parents. Durability of the wiring was improved early in the study to correct breakage problems. The use of GPS technology offers a new level of accuracy for direct quantification of time-location activity patterns in exposure assessment studies.
Keywords
Children; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health; Environmental-health-monitoring; Prophylaxis; Protective-clothing; Protective-equipment; Organo-phosphorus-compounds; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides; Pesticide-residues; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals
Contact
K. Elgethun, Department of Environmental Health, Box 357234, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 USA
CODEN
EVHPAZ
Publication Date
20030101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
elgethun@u.washington.edu
Funding Amount
868583
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U07-CCU-012926
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0091-6765
Priority Area
Neurotoxic Disorders; Neurotoxic-effects
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
WA
Performing Organization
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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