Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 9619–9631 | Cite as

Concentrations of particulate matter, carbon dioxide, VOCs and risk assessment inside Korean taxis and ships

  • Ho-Hyun KimEmail author
  • Gee-Young Park
  • Jeong-Hun Lee
Research Article


The objective of this study was to investigate the concentration distribution of indoor air pollutants in taxis and ships (passengers) which are frequently used for public transportation and recreational activities in South Korea. In addition, it aimed to assess air quality factors to establish and evaluate the health risks of exposure to polluted indoor air. Particulate matter (PM10) concentrations were not affected by the number of passengers, time of day, and driving characteristics because there were only a few passengers (2 to 4 people) and the space was confined. In the ships, indoor air pollutants responded more sensitively to the operation characteristics depending on the time of sailing (i.e., anchoring and departure, movement of vehicles on the ship, movement of passengers, combustion in the shop, and ventilation) than to the number of people boarding and alighting. The carbon dioxide concentrations in different ship rooms did not vary according to season and degree of congestion; however, there were differences between different ships. These differences may result from the size, type, and operating characteristics of the ships. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aldehydes in new taxis exceeded the standard levels during summer. VOC concentrations in ships were particularly high during summer when the outdoor temperature was high. Similar observations were made for other means of transportation. The risk assessment depended on the means of transportation and demonstrated that mortality risks due to PM10 and excess carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks from VOCs and aldehydes were within safety levels.


Taxi Ship Public transportation Indoor air quality Risk assessment 


Funding information

This study was funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) as “the Environmental Health Action Program.” (2016001350002).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information, Communication and Technology Convergence. ICT Environment ConvergencePyeongtaek UniversityPyeongtaekSouth Korea
  2. 2.Korea Synthesis Pollution Institute of Testing Co., LtdSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Life & Industry Environmental R&D centerPyeongtaek UniversityPyeongtaekSouth Korea

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