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

Department of Occupational Health, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsangbuk-do 38430, Korea
Department of Statistics, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Korea
Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea
Samsung SDS Co., Ltd., Seoul 05510, Korea
Occupational Lung Diseases Institute, Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, Incheon 21417, Korea
National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang 10408, Korea
Environmental Safety Group, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Europe Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Ulsan 44429, Korea
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

Received: May 22, 2019
Revised: August 19, 2019
Accepted: October 9, 2019
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Cite this article:

Choi, S., Park, J.H., Bae, S.Y., Kim, S.Y., Byun, H., Kwak, H., Hwang, S., Park, J., Park, H., Lee, K.H., Kim, W. and Park, D.U. (2019). Characteristics of PM10 Levels Monitored for More than a Decade in Subway Stations in South Korea. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2746-2756.


  • 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 concentration and identify the factors influencing it in Korean subways during the past decade. The PM10 measured internally by subway companies according to legal requirements was categorized by the subway’s characteristics, which were statistically examined using a mixed effects model to identify the relevant parameters. The average levels monitored near or on the platforms and in the waiting rooms ranged from 53.9 to 92.4 µg m−3, remaining below the Indoor Air Quality Control Act regulatory standard of 150 µg m−3. However, the levels monitored on the platforms far exceeded the average yearly atmospheric environmental standard (50 µg m−3). Based on both univariate and multiple analyses, several subway characteristics, including the presence of a platform screen door (PSD), were found to significantly correlate with the concentration, although slight differences in the significant factors were detected between the cities. Particularly, the absence of transfer lines and the presence of a PSD reduced the platform concentration, except at Busan and during specific years.

Keywords: Subway; PM10; Platform screen door (PSD); Indoor air quality.

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