Mapping air pollution by biological monitoring in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area

Aya Lavi, Oded Potchter, Itzhak Omer, Elizabeth Fireman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Conventional environmental monitoring is not surrogate of personal exposure. In contrast, biomonitoring provides information on the presence of substances in the human body, making it highly relevant to the assessment of exposure to toxic substances. Induced sputum (IS) is a noninvasive technique for detecting inflammation and reflecting particulate matter content in the airways. In this study, we mapped particulate matter dispersion in metropolitan Tel Aviv by both biomonitoring techniques employing IS samples and by environmental monitoring. All adults referred to the Pulmonary Lab for respiratory symptom evaluation in 2007 and in 2009 were enrolled. Pulmonary function tests were performed by conventional methods. Particulate size distribution in IS was analyzed, and maps of air pollution were created. Biomonitoring was more informative and enabled mapping of wider areas. Integration of biomonitoring and environmental monitoring should be considered in forming public health policy on containment of airborne particles of toxic substances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-360
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 May 2016


  • biological monitoring
  • monitoring urban air pollution
  • personal exposure


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