Features and Practicability of the Next-Generation Sensors and Monitors for Exposure Assessment to Airborne Pollutants: A Systematic Review


In the last years, the issue of exposure assessment of airborne pollutants has been on the rise, both in the environmental and occupational fields. Increasingly severe national and international air quality standards, indoor air guidance values, and exposure limit values have been developed to protect the health of the general population and workers; this issue required a significant and continuous improvement in monitoring technologies to allow the execution of proper exposure assessment studies. One of the most interesting aspects in this field is the development of the “next-generation” of airborne pollutants monitors and sensors (NGMS). The principal aim of this review is to analyze and characterize the state of the art and of NGMS and their practical applications in exposure assessment studies. A systematic review of the literature was performed analyzing outcomes from three different databases (Scopus, PubMed, Isi Web of Knowledge); a total of 67 scientific papers were analyzed. The reviewing process was conducting systematically with the aim to extrapolate information about the specifications, technologies, and applicability of NGMSs in both environmental and occupational exposure assessment. The principal results of this review show that the use of NGMSs is becoming increasingly common in the scientific community for both environmental and occupational exposure assessment. The available studies outlined that NGMSs cannot be used as reference instrumentation in air monitoring for regulatory purposes, but at the same time, they can be easily adapted to more specific applications, improving exposure assessment studies in terms of spatiotemporal resolution, wearability, and adaptability to different types of projects and applications. Nevertheless, improvements needed to further enhance NGMSs performances and allow their wider use in the field of exposure assessment are also discussed.

Authors: Giacomo Fanti, Francesca Borghi, Andrea Spinazzè, Sabrina Rovelli, Davide Campagnolo, Marta Keller, Andrea Cattaneo, Emanuele Cauda, Domenico Maria Cavallo
; Full Source: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) 2021 Jun 30;21(13):4513. doi: 10.3390/s21134513.