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Characteristics of PM10 Levels Monitored for More Than a Decade in Subway Stations in South Korea

Category: Urban Air Quality

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.05.0263

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Sangjun Choi1, Ju-Hyun Park2, Seo-Yeon Bae3, So-Yeon Kim3, Hyaejeong Byun4, Hyunseok Kwak5, Sungho Hwang6, Jihoon Park7, Hyunhee Park8, Kyong-Hui Lee9, Won Kim10, Dong-Uk Park 3

  • 1 Department of Occupational Health, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsangbuk-do 38430, Korea
  • 2 Department of Statistics, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Korea
  • 3 Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea
  • 4 Samsung SDS Co., Ltd., Seoul 05510, Korea
  • 5 Occupational Lung Diseases Institute, Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, Incheon 21417, Korea
  • 6 National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang 10408, Korea
  • 7 Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul 08826, Korea
  • 8 Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Ulsan 44429, Korea
  • 9 Force Health Protection and Preventive Medicine, US Army MEDDAC-Korea, Unit 15281, APO AP 96205-5281, USA
  • 10 Wonjin Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Seoul 02221, Korea


  • The average PM10 levels decreased by year in all stations and city.
  • The PM10 levels were far higher than the yearly average ambient air quality.
  • Some of subway characteristics were found to influence the PM10 level.
  • Platform screen doors, number of transfer lines were factors influencing the PM10.


This study aimed to evaluate the variation in PM10 in the subways over the past years in Korea and to identify factors influencing the PM10 level. The PM10 measured internally by subway companies according to legal requirements was categorized by subway characteristics. These were statistically examined using a mixed effect model to identify the parameters influencing PM10 level. The PM10 levels monitored near platforms or waiting rooms ranged from 53.9 to 92.4 μg m-3 and were all below the 150 μg m-3 which is a regulatory standard. PM10 levels monitored on platforms were found to far exceed the yearly average atmospheric environmental standard (50 μg m-3). Based on both univariate and multiple analyses, several subway characteristics, including the presence of a platform screen doors (PSD), were found to be significantly associated with PM10 level, though there is little difference in significant factors among cities. Particularly, stations without transfer lines and the presence of PSD contributed to reduction in the PM10 level at the platform, except for Busan and in specific years.


Subway PM10 Platform screen-door (PSD) Indoor air quality

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